Amanda Easton is far from new, and in fact YEDM has even covered her before in the form of a guest artist on Once Around Saturn’s “These Promises” single in 2017. Since then, she released an EP called Polaroids and Postcards that’s both kitschy and evocative, exemplifying the style she’s been creating which she calls “theatrical electronica pop.”
Easton’s newest venture, a full-length album called Wallflower, is even more intensely theatrical. The kitsch is gone as Easton wades through the complicated emotions of 2020, from self-perception to growing up to finding one’s power to craving personal interaction and connection. Sentiments we can all relate to, quarantine or no.
This album was made in 2020 which had a lot more time for introspection than usual. I thought a lot about my lack of confidence and shyness as a teenager. While I still have moments of insecurity, I think how far I’ve come and I’d like to about to go back and tell my younger self not to worry, that I would bloom eventually. Teenage me is the Wallflower in the title and this album tells stories about events and people from my past.
Despite the album being mostly about her past, Easton’s ability to connect with her need for connection is something we can all feel, more and more since last March. That notwithstanding, Wallflower is musically very interesting and Easton’s voice is operatic and breathtaking. In a surprising melding of styles, the album is part Phantom of the Opera, part Tangerine Dream and part mid-era The Cure, the album is intense, emotive and complicated both sonically and in lyrical content.
A good listen overall with lots of nods to Easton’s jazz and blues roots, Wallflower ticks a lot of boxes in terms of electronica and pop while maintaining the artist’s message and point. There’s a track here for everyone, whether you relate to the lyrics or the stark, almost experimental music. Amanda Easton seems to really be coming into her own with Wallflower, and it seems she’s done so by reflecting on her past.
Wallflower is out now on Renaissance Records. Digital and physical copies available on Bandcamp.