Amery Continue As Amery

Night School
14th June 2024

Format Info

LP - black vinyl

Continue As Amery is the debut album by Montreal-based artist Amery. Formerly recording under the moniker Alpen Glow, Continue As Amery sees the songwriter step out into a bold, colourful world full of pop hooks, snagging feelings of abandon and the mornings after.

Amery Sandford began releasing as Alpen Glow in 2020 after years playing in punk groups in Newfoundland and as half of Montreal pop duo Born At Midnite (Arbutus). Recorded in Montreal by David Carriere (TOPS, Marci), Patrick Holland, and Kristian North, Continue As Amery is a blast of melodic joie de vivre. On her debut Sandford brings her punk and DIY credentials into sharp focus on 8 perfect pop odes to city living, making mistakes and figuring it out as you go along. Suffuse with powerful imagery and an almost uncanny talent at spinning out hooks brimming with humour and spirit, Amery’s soundworld is informed by friendship, experience and by her day job as a renowned illustrator and visual artist. Beginning Alpen Glow in a spirit of fun and now shedding the alias, Amery’s ready to hotwire the nite.

Each song is rich with story. Mountain FM, named for the radio station in Sandford’s home town in the mountains of Alberta, launches into a tale of speeding, blasting the radio too loud, the giddy burning of rubber with no care in the world to slow you down. Featuring live band members Sarah Harris, Jack Bielli, and Frank Climenhage, the singer bristles to get out of her stifling hometown while lamenting the wide eyed adventurer who left for the big city. On Hotwire The Nite, Amery is out on the town, with imagery loaded with the night’s promise. Amery sings “Black candle / Dripping intel / Dagger hanging by an emerald handle / Holy roller that I just can’t have without my hand on an old flame,” diving in and out of fantasy and desire over a pulsating banger. Moments like these feel like a thesis on aural pleasure, with the production sleek and silky playfulness persisting throughout.

Spirit Is Broken is a pep talk the artist is giving herself in the mirror. Only Amery could write something so joyous and harmonically glorious while singing about low ebbs. Every line shines with humour, the chorus starting with an exasperated “oh my god, alright” and the refrain nailing the bittersweet feeling of enjoying feeling down. It’s a mood continued on slow groover Ennui, a melter striking out at being stuck; same parties, same faces, daring to dream beyond.

As an illustrator and visual artist, Sandford’s images detail dancing instrument-clad animals, party scenes that nod to historical image making heavy hitters like Hieronymus Bosch and Ludwig Bemelmans. On Miracles, Amery deals in bold pop production and her yearning to escape into fantasy, given wings by Korgs and drum machines. On Rocker Blues, originally by French artist FR David, Amery brings the heavy with synth-guitar and an undeniable chorus. C9 is in some ways the album’s centrepiece, a mid tempo funk jam and duet with Montreal stalwart Fireball Kid, it’s the party just out of reach on the horizon. The thing about Cloud 9 is that on the comedown you might get a hella lot of rain.

The world Amery builds is intoxicating, rich and most importantly open for anyone to fall into. To be continued…