It was our mutual friend Paw, who first put me on to the music of singer-songwriter Amy Goddard; by recommending her single ‘Gladdie’. (On which more later). Amy herself then sent me a package containing her debut album Burn & Glow (2014); along with the recently released ‘Gladdie’ single; and her biography factsheet with some leaflets.
Amy is a young singer/song-writer originally from Merthyr in South Wales, but now resident in Portsmouth. She is also a music theory; guitar; and piano teacher – and a luthier too! With such skills, you would expect her to come up with a remarkable album – and you’d not be disappointed!
Burn & Glow is a collection of fourteen songs, mostly penned by the lady herself; and characterised by very good song construction and arrangements; and by Amy’s almost other-worldly vocals and harmonies. But for me, what stands out most of all are her powerful and beautiful lyrics. She is not afraid to delve into some very dark places indeed. Full marks to her for having the courage to shine light on such dreadful issues as: depression in ‘Don’t Try’ (her previous single for which all proceeds went to the charity SANE); bullying, in ‘Suzie’; and the possible slide into alcoholism, in ‘Taking The Edge Off The Day’. The lyric to each of these songs is powerfully poignant, and cuts to bone of the issue.
That’s not to say that the album is all doom and gloom. Far from it! There are several wonderful cheery songs too – from the chirpy Americana of ‘Morning Train’; through the lilting ‘Just Be You’ with its lovely acoustic solo section; and of course to the singalong ‘One More Song’. But my personal favourite is the beautiful opener ‘I will See’. It is, as Amy tells us ‘… a song about learning to be happy in your own skin’. I love the guitar on this; the lyric is superb too. I also like ‘Make You Whole’; which is about the joy of playing a musical instrument. There are two equally good versions of this song on the album. But I must say, that every track in this collection is quite remarkable.
The CD comes in a standard Jewel Case. Multi-skilled Amy has of course, also designed the lovely cover herself. In the enclosed booklet, she has provided all lyrics and an explanation of each song; and some other generally useful info too. All round, its a very fine job indeed.
Amy also sent me her ‘Gladdie’ CD. It is the recently released single that will feature on her forthcoming album. It is also deservedly a semi-finalist in the UK Song-Writing Competition. It is based on the letters received by her Great Grandmother Gladys, from her beau who served in the trenches during the Great War – from which he never returned. The song is beautiful, but tragic; sad, but magnificent. How many similar stories – now, mostly forgotten – could have been told from that hideous conflict of a century ago? ‘Gladdie’ represents all such forgotten stories. Amy is to be highly commended for airing the subject, as we currently live through the 100th anniversaries of battles, whose names still resound like a death knell through the decades; appropriate too as we approach Remembrance Day 2015.
‘Gladdie’ is a well-crafted song with a powerful lyric in three verses and three choruses. Amy’s voice is wonderfully emotional, and her guitar playing is superb. There are also some wonderfully arranged strings too. And it’ll bring a tear to your eye!
The CD single comes in a simple, but adequate slip case, with a very appropriate and thoughtful design and some basic info on the song. I assume lyrics will be provided when the new album is released.
Thanks to Amy for writing and recording such wonderful music; and to Paw for pointing me in Amy’s direction. I recommend highly both Burn & Glow, and the ‘Gladdie’ single. I eagerly look forward to her new album. PTMQ.
Here is the official video for ‘Gladdie’ (Handkerchiefs at the ready!)…
Amy’s website… http://www.amygoddardmusic.co.uk/