Amanda Bergman has previously released solo material as Idiot Wind, and leads the band Amason, but here is her first full-length solo work under her own name. Her mature songwriting and character-laden voice make for the kind of album that draws a listener all the way in, recalling some of Julia Holter’s recent work. On Ingrid.
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Amanda Bergman’s music is in the ascension: it’s waiting on brass and asking the strings to wait just a minute more, building its unstoppable tension until the momentum topples over itself. The gorgeously soft but incredibly weighty “Falcons” opens up ‘Docks’, and captures that sweet spot the National champion -- the indie pop calm before the indie pop storm.
Ready-made with a clear, opening production, Amanda Bergman makes understated songs put in bold by their gorgeous and patient arrangements. The languishing tempo of “Questions” doesn’t promise much, but it grows into a symphony of piano and strings that’d make romantics Cherry Ghost seem completely heartless. The chill and righteously spectral guitar of “Taxis” recalls the lazy-day chillwave our five-day work week has all but forgotten, but it’s grounded in a lovely bassline and a joyous chorus that both erupts from the song and clings close to it.
This is ultimately fine songwriting from an artist who loves her songs to reach their full potential. Whether they move with the propulsive nautical rhythms of the War on Drugs (as with “Flickering Lights”) or go for a guitar tone as sparkly as Coldplay’s (“Windshield”), they’re always grounded by Bergman’s patient approach to travelling.
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