July 16, 2016 — “Juniper” by Amanda X

Amanda X

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Juniper” by Amanda X (2015, from the Hundreds and Thousands 7″ record).

Amanda X is a cuddlepunk/twee punk/post-grunge trio from Philadelphia. They formed in 2012 on a whim and they released their first EP — Ruin The Moment— later that year. Since then, they released a single in November of 2013, their debut album Amnesia in July of 2014, the Hundreds and Thousands 7″ EP last August, and the “New Year” single last Christmas.

They sound like they would have been perfectly at home on the K Records label back in the mid-late 1990s. They bring to mind many of those wonderful bands on that label and other bands from the Pacific Northwest during that era. For a more contemporary comparison, I might mention them in the same breath with Alvvays. At the end of the day, though, I’m mostly reminded of the short-lived mid 1990s Vancouver cuddlecore band Cub. Years before she became a famous musician, Neko Case was the drummer in Cub for a short while.

I had never heard of Amanda X until Hopscotch announced the lineup for this year’s festival. As always, the festival is in downtown Raleigh on the weekend after Labor Day. This year, it’s Something like 130 bands in 12 venues. The fun starts Thursday night and goes through Saturday night. As always, there are also loads of free “day parties” taking place all weekend long. Sometimes, those day parties are almost as great as the official festival events.

Anyway, after they announced the lineup a couple of months ago, I started doing my Hopscotch homework, and I put Amanda X high on my list of bands to see. They’re playing Saturday night at 10:30 at Lincoln Theatre. There are a couple of other things that I’d like to see at other venues at the same time, but this is my plan A.

Today’s song comes from the 7″ record Hundreds and Thousands. There’s just two songs on the record, but they’re calling it an EP rather than a single. It was released via Self Aware Records, which is based in Charlotte. This release was limited to 300 physical copies, and each copy allegedly comes on “random mixed colored vinyl”. It’s my understanding, though, that they’re all on translucent purple. Anyway, this is the song from side B. This is that song:

“Juniper” by Amanda X

I love that it’s got a little bit of fuzz, a little bit of grit, a little bit of noise, but not A LOT of any of those things. As much as I love noise and overwhelming amounts of fuzz, there’s something really great about when there’s just a hint of those things.

I like this song a lot, and I like everything I’ve heard from them. I’m really looking forward to seeing them at Hopscotch.

Tickets for Hopscotch are still available. Three-day passes and single day passes can be bought here. Later this month, they’ll release tickets for the City Plaza shows.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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