Have you ever drawn a line with a pencil, erased it, but you can still see the line there? Well, the soul/pop borders are like that. It’s where the crossing over each of influences, arrangements and vocal style merge into one creating a world where you find yourself between the smoother soulful side and the glittering ‘poptastic’ side. Swedish singer/songwriter/producer AME ARDAI blurs these genres with electronic synths, tight beats and catchy choruses on her debut EP Body Memory.
You can approach this EP in two ways and absorb both sides equally.
On first listen you’ll be enamoured by the addictive hooks and echos of the glorious ’80s. Across the line, however, lies stories deep in personal expression and seeped in reflections of Ame’s life.
Each song in the five-track collection is titled with one word; Waiting, Enough, Water – a lovely uncomplicated and sufficient explanation and each a revelation of the album’s title and what lies beneath.
Ames’ skill and ability to write catchy hooks is indeed noteworthy. You’ll find Waiting and Enough (in juxtaposition to the subjects) imprinted in your mind long after the songs have faded out. Ame asks, no pleads for an answer to the painful question of self-acceptance on Enough.
The track Natalie in particular grips the mind like the first time you saw your loved one. The song itself is penned as a tribute to the passing of a friend though any sullenness is replaced with soulful harmonies, warm keys and beauty.
Many great singers have written for others, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Ame credited for this in the future too. But right now it’s her time, and as a do-it-all artist, I’m pleased to say she also has the vocal strength to bring her songs to life.
The semi-acoustic single Water is about depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and packs an emotional punch. Gentle piano keys open this intimate track before Ame delivers a lyrically engaging outpouring of emotion.
Dizzy shades of grey above me
suffocated by my thoughts
I can’t hear you
all I see is water in my eyes
I do not use the term ‘classic’ lightly, but I hear one here. A live performance will undoubtedly bring tears to everyone eyes, including my own.
The EP’s final track Obviously – confuses a little but that’s the beauty of the EP, what confuses me will be clear and connect to others.
I hope this EP stirs in the vast musical ocean. A multi-talented artist like this, who writes and expresses in such a manner deserves attention and a serious listen.