Updated: May 12
Amanda McCarthy surprised fans with a release of the B-sides of her album Road Trip. She cleverly called this release One More Trip. It has been almost 2 years since Road Trip was released. In true Amanda fashion, this new collection has 7 tracks; mixing in pop, acoustic and live tracks. Amanda is an artist who can flow in and out of genres, varying her sound to convey different stories and emotions to her audience.
“Here” sees Amanda singing about wanting to follow her dreams while watching others follow theirs. It could come from a place of jealousy, but it can also come from a place of determination as she sings “I vow I’ll make it out of here somehow, I only wish the time was now”. Looks like she got her wish, as she has recently moved to Nashville to chase those dreams.
How many songs have names for titles? A million...but how many of those aren’t about a person? That’s “Steven” on this record. There was a show Amanda had at this venue called Steven in Louisville, KY. When a venue leaves such a deep impression that it inspires a song, you know it was a special place. Unfortunately, this place has since closed. When the song starts a strong visual of Amanda on a dark stage under a single spotlight comes to mind.
“(Another Song About) California” starts off with just Amanda and her guitar, then comes the drums and other instruments. It builds layers right until the end, giving the ears something else to take in.
The whole release is full of songs about places, traveling, following your path, and staying true to where you come from. With her impeccable talent for crafting a story through music, there is a progression to the tracks. It starts with "Here" as she is longing to get away and follow her dreams like her friends. At the end, "Where I Go", is her thinking about her home before she will be "on my way when the leaves fall down". That brings the whole story of the album back to the start. This could all be coincidence, but given her track record with songs, it is most likely a cleverly crafted voyage through song.
These songs have a softness, and brightness, in them that allows the listener to feel the emotions she is sending at them; she invites them into her truth and heart. They also highlight the beauty that is her voice. It is evident in the vocals that Amanda is not a slave to the auto tune. All of her songs bring visuals to mind and transport the listener to the scenario she is describing. There is a power in her voice, unlike what people think when they hear that. It is not a screaming volume power, but more a pull at the heartstrings, vulnerability, make you feel things kind of power.
If this is what a small release for her is, then what must a full album sound like? Her brother, Mark McCarthy, produced the project and played the instruments on the tracks, except for when Tom Shubsda jumps on percussion.
One More Trip was released exclusively on Bandcamp during their “Bandcamp Friday”. This ensured that Amanda got the full amount of proceeds from the sale of the album. If this is what a small release for her is, then what must a full album sound like?