Premiere: Bask in Amanda Merdzan's lush new EP Commands
Five tracks of dense electro-pop courtesy of the London-via-Perth vocalist and producer.
It seems that in recent times, Australia has become bustling with up-and-coming female singer-songwriters, with names such as Woodes, Jess Kent and Teischa immediately coming to mind. Although no longer based in Australia (she's packed up and left to greener grass in London), former Perth vocalist, songwriter and producer Amanda Merdzan is another name we can add to this list, impressing us release after release since her firm debut release Afraid. No different is her returning EP Commands, which sees Merdzan's lush vocals float over dense electronic productions for a five-track release that's oozing with emotional power. The EP's moody opening track Glow sets a tone for things to come, with Merdzan's touching vocal prowess soaring over a piano-laden, atmospheric production, which is carried into the darker second single All Of You. Lodged in the middle of the EP, Matter gives a light relief to what we've heard thus far, adding another dimension to the EP with an airy, Purity Ring-esque production brimming with a swirling synth line that'll captivate you from it's opening bar. Flame is restrained and cleverly-written, layering light piano melodies with crisp percussion, whilst the track's building closing number Bury the Rest closes the EP on a soulful note, with a sprawling percussion line layered underneath Merdzan's emotional vocal touch.
From the EP's opening bar, Commands pulls you in and doesn't let you go, taking you on a journey through a dark, murky forest of sombre songwriting, with strips of sunlight beaming through in the form of the EP's fourth track Flame. With stories of loss, anxiety and the challenges of same-sex relationships littered throughout the EP's lyrical theme, Commands is a dark release, bustling with a moody, down-tempo energy that pulses throughout the EP's full duration. However, Commands is seriously impressive - it boasts both a lyrical and vocal maturity that I haven't heard in a while now, and the parallels I am finding with Purity Ring is definitely a good thing, especially considering their popularity as an international, touring duo. With the right moves, Amanda Merdzan can be an artist on the same level, both in terms of popularity and maturity, and whilst listening to her Commands EP, I have a good feeling she knows what she's doing.