Amy LaVere is a perfect example of the kind of artistry that emerges from the depths of all the messiness and complicated stuff of life, of loss and heartache, breakups and member changes.
Stranger Me is her third record. After the producer of her previous album, Anchors and Anvil, Jim Dickinson passed away, things began to tear apart at the seams. Dickinson was considered her mentor and her greatest champion. Eventually, she teamed up with Craig Silvey, best known for producing Arcade Fire's The Suburbs, and LaVere and came out with one of her most courageous and honest albums to date.
Musically, Stranger Me explores new, more textured soundscapes. It's still got those country/blues roots. It's the foundation of all of her songs: aggression. Sometimes it's melancholy, but often it's a hearty stomp, like the quick-tempo "You Can't Keep Me" or the rock & roll jam "Damn Love Song."
LaVere's penchant for darker lyrics, an orchestral twang and on overall Southern gothic vibe sets her apart from all the other bruised and fragile singer/songwriters. Stranger Me is the perfect breakup record for those unwilling to hide their pain. You can watch her shed it all at Bar Pink on Sept. 9 as part of the San Diego Music Thing, a two-day music festival and conference with over 150 local and regional acts. To find out more about the fest, go here.
Nada Alic runs the San Diego-based music blog Friends With Both Arms and works in artist relations for the nonprofit organization Invisible Children. Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.