LP Walkthru: The Amazons - How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me?
“Honestly, that’s the most we could ever ask for, is for people to find a place in their lives for our music to soundtrack whatever situation they are in.”
Falling somewhere in the indie, rock, and alternative pop realms comes the catchy melodies of UK band The Amazons. With two huge Top 10 records and sold-out shows across the globe under their belts, the group unveil their anthem-packed third LP How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me?
Produced by Jim Abbiss (Bombay Bicycle, Arctic Monkeys, Adele, Arcade Fire), Nick Atkinson and Edd Holloway (Lewis Capaldi, Tom Grennan, Jade Bird), and featuring co-writes with the likes of Maggie Rogers and Jamie Hartman, “To work with friends and idols on an album about hope and joy was a dream. It’s the heaven we have to take to our fans.” shares front-man Matt. Compiled of 11-tracks of up-lifting arena-rock anthems suitable for a passionate sing-along, How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me? was made taking a different approach to their previous riff-drived records; 2017’s self-titled debut, and 2019’s Future Dust. The Amazons reversing their process of band sessions, with lyrics added later, by sharing songs such as Northern Star, lead single Bloodrush, and Wait For Me among the quartet to work on together - but apart. Matt Thomson (vocals, guitar), Chris Alderton (guitar), Elliot Briggs (bass), Joe Emmett (drums) each alone at home, weaving their musical magic.
Named by the grandiose opener, and only track to survive their initial demos for the third record How Will I Know? Matt expresses “We’re not religious, Heaven means different things to different people. For us, as cheesy as it sounds, it means making music that is a force for good. Enough of the darkness, we want to hear joy. We never stopped dreaming of festivals, of their energy and community. With this album, we set out to capture our heaven and hand it to our fans.”
Full of a lust for life and post-pandemic hope, The Amazons open to a fresh page with How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me? to create something very raw, special, and stadium rock worthy. To learn more about what went into the making of the LP, Matt jumped on the line to verbally describe each track, in his spoken/natural flow. Be sure to hit play on The Amazons third record, and take a read of what Matt had to say below.
How Will I Know?
How Will I Know was the breakthrough song off the record, I think we'd written some stuff up to that point in 2020, but this song was the one that I felt was the blueprint sonically for what we wanted to do, and the kind of expansive sound and the feeling of wide open spaces that was completely at odds with reality at the time. And also lyrically, of not knowing the answers - being uncertain about the future, and that kind of knowing that there was someone out there that you wanted to be reunited with, essentially, that was something that you were holding out hope for, even if it was uncertain if you were going to see them again.
So the song came first, and we were thinking of titles for the album, which is not easy. It's not easy. What words or what phrase can start to sum up the whole record?! But Joe, our drummer, said, “why not How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me?”, which is the first line of the chorus of that song and I was like “wow, okay - that fits!”, and that kind of framed the rest of the record in a really beautiful way.
Bloodrush is definitely one of the more instinctive tracks on the album, in that it was written pretty quickly, and it was really just coming from a place yearning for just the fundamentals of like, human connection, rom a place where we've been kind of deprived of what I guess people would see as trivial stuff, like seeing people and going out and having fun, but like, actually, when you're deprived from it for so long, it becomes pretty fundamental
and just how you feel. like feeling human, being in touch with yourself. So Bloodrush is that it's, just kind of like a, you know, a defined kind of song. I think it's celebratory, but like in the face of restriction.
Say It Again
Say It Again started as a seed of an idea, and the seed was laying very dormant, and asleep in my pocket for far too many years. It was like, it was sitting in my pocket, until I met up with a friend of the band, Maggie Rogers. We were hanging out and
I played her the beginnings of an idea for a song and she kicked through the doors and showed me a whole new path full of possibilities for what the song could be. And, actually, after that meeting, and her kind of coming up with this beautiful chorus melody, I really worked out what the song was about and what the song meant to me.
It's really about the moment when someone takes a leap of faith, and someone expresses how they feel about you to you, for the first time, and you feel like your world's been turned upside down in the best way and you walk down the street, like 10 feet tall. It's like for me, it's that 500 Days of Summer scene where they finally get together, this is my desert version of that. It’s definitely a road trip kind of song, you’re invincible, just because some you like likes you back, that’s a pretty special thing, especially in the beginning. It’s a really special thing, I just want to bottle it up forever, so I have - it’s Say It Again.
There’s A Light
There’s A Light is like How Will I Know’s more hopeful cousin, essentially. If I’m asking questions in How Will I Know’s lyrics, then in There’s A Light I’m certainly trying to answer them. There’s a light at the end of the dark is kind of the mantra, it’s almost like a manifestation for when times get a little bit hopeless, you kind of repeat that mantra. It started with the bass riff, I was working with a songwriter called Will Bloomfield and we were just talking about navigating like, loving someone when they're physically absent, and he'd lost his father, maybe a year or two before. We just really connected on this subject, but like, from two totally different angles, so when we were coming up with the lyrics, it was two totally different angles, which I really liked that we kind of came to the same place. I want it to be super hopeful.
Northern Star came from conversations that I had with my girlfriend about actually this concept called “lodestar”, and a lodestar is
basically someone who shoulders the weight of and carries people and gives you direction in your life. It's like a friend, a guide and I think if, if you're lucky, you have someone like that. You're really lucky if you have a couple of those people in your life. Of course, lodestar isn't quite the most singable, so I thought Northern Star would be a pretty good substitute. And I think we're fed so much individualistic crap, essentially about like, it's all about you, and you can do it all on your own, and it all starts with you and don't worry about anyone else and blah, blah, blah. But actually, I think in all the difficult times of my life, you can't do it alone. Yeah, we need each other. That's the long and short of it. Really, we need each other. So a Northern Star for me is someone who grabs you by the scruff of the neck and pulls you through.
Wait For Me
Wait For Me is a very nostalgic song for me. I think sonically, it’s really a tribute to the bands that we were listening to when we first started picking up guitars, whether it be The Strokes or the Arctic Monkeys, or Bombay Bicycle Club or whoever. We wanted something super simple and it just made me think of like, long summers when we were still in high school. You know, in the UK we have six weeks of holidays, which felt like an age, and you just do loads of growing and you play around, and that kind of stuff was my soundtrack. So sonically, that’s where Wait For Me is, and then the song’s kind of, you know, it was between me and my girlfriend seeing each other again after lockdown, it was about seven months, so you’re just like “are we still gonna be a thing when we get back? Are we even going to be the same people?”. And the longer we were apart, our relationship prior to COVID just felt like this long, last summer. It just became super dreamy and nostalgic, as opposed to my daily life, being whipped by the winds on a Brighton Beach in the middle of fucking January *laughs*
One By One
One by One was one of the first written, actually. I wrote it on that day there was that huge explosion in Beirut, and it just felt like a nuclear explosion, it just felt like another thing that was happening around that time in 2020, like so much bullshit was happening, horrible, horrible stuff on top of a global pandemic. And I felt this feeling of helplessness of like, what the hell are we supposed to do about it? When I get off my laptop or my phone, I look around and my life is very quiet, very mundane, very boring, but when you look out the window of your phone, the world’s burning, and that was a strange place to be.
Ready For Something
Ready For Something’s really just that feeling like you’re caged, and feeling like you’re ready for any old experience - good or bad, you’re just ready for life, and you feel that you’re capable of so much more. That one was kind of pretty instinctual, the same as Blood Rush, it came about pretty quick. It’s knowing that you’re capable of so much more than life is asking of you, and just feeling like scratching at the walls, let’s go!
For The Night
It’s pretty atmospheric and pretty - it’s as vulnerable as it gets on this record. That was one of the oldest songs written for the record, I actually pitched it to Liam Gallagher. The person I wrote this with is a guy called Nick Atkinson, who I’ve written a bunch of stuff with, he’s a good friend of mine. It was Liam Gallagher’s like come back album, and he was pitching for songs, so we sat on the piano and wrote something, wrote For The Night and were like “oh, this is good, Liam will totally love this”... and then of course it never cut it, and it took a while for us to come back to that song, but I felt like this was the album where we could do it, and now I had a subject that I wanted to talk about, I just needed to sit down and change the lyrics and work out what it’s really about and then bring it into line with the album. It really worked out, too.
In The Morning
In The Morning is kind of about keeping reality at bay. Goodbye’s are inevitable for everyone, always, but that doesn’t mean they’re not shit, and horrible, and heart wrenching, so In The Morning is about keeping all that stuff at bay, and not in a literal sense, but more in like a just close your eyes and pretend it’s not happening. When I say In The Morning, it’s like basically I’m leaving in the morning, talking about the episodic nature of being in a long distance relationship. It’s like the clock starts ticking pretty much as soon as you see each other which is an interesting dynamic, an interesting way of how you look at time.
I’m Not Ready
This one kind of keeps with the theme, that was set in In The Morning - the euphorias of hello but also the crushing goodbyes. Yeah, I think this is probably one of my favourite lines off the record, actually - “Life is cruel, but not right now” - just kind of like, the outside world sucks but inside, in this moment, staying in the moment’s not so bad. Like, forget you’ve got a flight in the morning, that’s then, this is now. It’s pretty explicit, like the first line’s “I’m not ready to go home”. I mean, it’s probably the most explicit song in terms of talking about being in a relationship or the long distance and navigating that, but we’ve already had people come up to us during the tour around the UK, with a lot of people just like applying completely to their own situations and stuff, like someone said they were moving and they sat in the house when it was empty and put the song on, like, fuck, that’s crazy, that’s amazing. Honestly, that’s the most we could ever ask for, is for people to find a place in their lives for our music to soundtrack whatever situation they are in.
So already, the album is a roaring success for me - the only thing would be to come to Australia, because we absolutely love Australia, and to come to Australia for more than a week, to just get over the jetlag, then we’re fine.
The Amazons' new album How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me? is out now via Fiction Records / Virgin Music Australia.