After sitting on the back burner for two years while indie punk rock artist Amy Elise grew on the Gold Coast scene, single ‘Hiding’ showcases original lyrics that speak to Amy’s origins: simply taking the opportunities in front of her.
Amy Elise has been busy since her debut release in early 2019. She originally cultivated her acoustic guitar sound in a trip to Nashville, before growing her audience back in Queensland and finding her style in punk rock. Her experience working with a band and producing her music with psychedelic soul artist Benny D. Williams has culminated in a masterfully crafted and layered rendition of a song she’s been working on since 2018.
In the wake of Amy’s last live performance before digital release on 16 October, we decided to catch up with her about the song and soon-to-be-released EP.
Amy says though ‘Hiding’ may sound like a love song, she was actually inspired to write it when thinking about her decision to go to Nashville.
“I guess it was just knowing about opportunities that I could have taken in the past. Especially, around that time, I was getting prepared to go to Nashville, and I almost thought of not taking the opportunity.”
Through this lens, Amy Elise seems to take the meta perspective of the opportunity itself, encouraging listeners to come out of hiding and find the opportunity waiting for them. Amy’s opportunity to record with Benny D. Williams, she says, helped shape the song’s sound.
“It was originally very acoustic and… kind of the same style as my earlier things like ‘How Bout No’,” she says. “I just think that it needed some revamping. So I worked with Benny on it, and we added some electric guitars and amped up the drums a bit, and re-tracked the vocals, and it made it all a bit more like what I’m doing now.”
What she’s doing now is pivoting from her classic soft vocals and acoustic guitar to inspiring anthems with strong vocals (and more vocals!), and creative choices that emphasise them. Amy says the song’s chant-like ending helps to strike this home while connecting with her audience as they chant back to her.
‘Hiding’ demonstrates a progression in tone and complexity reflects Amy Elise’s journey as a musician shirking off her song writing anxiety. She says, “I was really nervous in 2018, about song writing, and I was scared to show people what I’d done and what I’d made. Now, a lot of that fear is gone.”
‘Hiding’ begins with simple acoustic guitar and a single sound effect, as if an homage to Amy’s origins. But as the song progresses, a marching drum beat and rousing electric guitar supports her vocals, quickly increasing in power. The supports then recede into just the drum beat for emphasis as Amy makes her point with vocals alone, strong enough to support themselves. Paired with her shifts in tone throughout the song and her inspirations, Amy seems to be serenading her 2018 self with her own words in this new release. A love song to her younger self as the opportunities awaiting her.
Amy’s advice to musicians finding their confidence is “that really just comes with practice. As your song writing gets better, you’re more confident to show people. I think that progression of practicing song writing and bashing the songs out… really helped.”
Amy’s EP ‘Growing Pains’ launches on 16 October as a collection of all the songs she’s previously released – with ‘Hiding’ as the newest addition. She says, “I think you can really hear the progression of my song writing and my sounds, and I like to think that they tell quite a story with the way that they’re written.
“I’ve placed them in a specific way so that they sort of tell the story.”
The story shows Amy’s journey finding her style in punk rock and in, herself, coming out of hiding.
Follow Amy on her socials, and watch out for new releases continuing on her train of uplifting punk rock.
IMAGE: Amy Elise performing at Mo’s Desert Clubhouse (C) A E Hilton