We review the new album from Amanda Ekery – Some (More) Short Songs.

Next month sees El Paso based Jazz soloist Amanda Ekery, return with her third album, titled Some (More) Short Songs. The release of this album follows on from 2018’s Keys With No Purpose, and 2017’s debut Some Short Songs – with Some (More) Short Songs proving to be a sequel to that first album.

The album opens with ‘LCC #13 (Visions)’ a magical, quirky track standing at a glorious 6 minutes and 14 seconds long. ‘Visions’ is a perfect opener to the album, giving listeners a real glimpse of just how talented Ekery and her collaborators really are. At first, new listeners may be pushed away by the fact that Ekery’s quintet doesn’t have a drummer, however, the band makes up for that with their exciting and eccentric compositions.

‘LCC #14 (Mind Games)’ follows quickly, taking form as a haunting, pop drama. Allowing Amanda Ekery’s vocals to really shine through, ‘Mind Games’ feels as if it is fit for theatre. Where this track really excels is with its whispered backing vocals that help to build tension and suspense, accompanied by uneasy instrumentation which introduces the listener to a completely different mood than the track before it.

Once again picking up a different mood, ‘LCC #15 (Maybe I Should Drive)’ has a gorgeous instrumental break that bounces and bubbles before making way for another strong vocal performance. One of the strongest on the album, ‘Maybe I Should Drive’, is a masterclass in instrumental improvisation.

‘LCC #17’ is perhaps the most peaceful track on Some (More) Short Songs, and it certainly thrives. Introduced by stunning piano tones, the song simmers as an instrumental before soaring as vocals are introduced halfway through. Almost like something out of a film, this one is breathtakingly beautiful and allows for a moment of calm from the high-energy pieces that were displayed before it.

Immense vocal control is highlighted within ‘LCC #18 (Up There)’, as Amanda Ekery hits high notes and low notes within a matter of seconds. Through ‘LCC #18 (Up There)’ Ekery’s vocals work as a guide for the instrumentation, as they frolic hand-in-hand through the track before making way for another gorgeous piano solo that stands in a world of its own.

Ekery’s funny side is brought to the table on ‘LCC #21 (That Dog Won’t Hurt)’, where humorous lyrics stand at its core. Here, Amanda’s versatility is the focus – as her vocals work in harmony with a strong guitar riff and bassline whilst doing some impeccable storytelling. 

Each track displayed on Some (More) Short Songs is completely different than the last, however, they all come together to form an outstanding body of work which shows the high level of talent executed by Amanda Ekery and her band. Some (More) Short Songs is fit for theatre, taking listeners on a new journey with every track whilst still being a compelling, well thought out album which stands tall as Ekery’s strongest release to date.