The Playlist Interview: Amy O
The playlist interview is a new feature exploring The music behind the music—the songs and memories that inspire our favorite artists.
If you haven't heard of Amy O, you might want to pay attention.
Her new album, Elastic, is filled with taut, punk-influenced indie-pop that implodes genre borders as well as traditional song structures.
While the 12 tracks on Elastic sound completely new, there's no escaping the influence of Sleater-Kinney on the biting catchiness of "Lavender Night" and "Patterns," the wink of Helium that's present in the low-slung grunge of "Soft Skin," or the legacy of the Roches that's woven within the close-knit harmonies of "Spill" and "David."
With killer musical references like that, obviously we wanted to know what else Amy O is listening to. Take a peek inside her musical history below, and make sure to check out Elastic.
P.S. "History Walking," "Patterns," and "Cherry Blossom" are all excellent picks for dancing around your house while you pretend to clean.
The last song you listened to:
"Jimmy mack" by bonnie pointer
"My boyfriend works at a record store and brings home random music all the time. He recently brought back some Bonnie Pointer and it’s been on heavy rotation."
A SONG THAT REMINDS YOU OF YOUR PARENTS:
"THE LETTER" BY THE BOX TOPS
"My parents play in a band together and used to cover this song when I was a kid. They do a folkier version of it than the original."
A SONG THAT REMINDS YOU OF HIGH SCHOOL:
"SAY YES" BY ELLIOTT SMITH
"I was obsessed with Elliott Smith in high school. I used to listen to 'Say Yes' on repeat in my room and just let those angsty teenage feelings flow."
A SONG THAT MAKES YOU CRY:
"COME BACK AS A FLOWER" BY STEVIE WONDER (LEAD VOCALS BY SYREETA WRIGHT)
"In 2012 a close friend of mine died. He was a Stevie Wonder fanatic and got me really into him too. After he passed away I listened to this song a lot to comfort myself and feel closer to him."
THE BEST MAKE-OUT SONG:
"LET'S STAY TOGETHER" BY AL GREEN
"I mean, what’s better than making out to Al Green’s voice?"
A SONG BY ONE OF YOUR HEROES:
"MODERN GIRL" BY SLEATER-KINNEY
"I love the simplicity of the song’s structure and how it builds. The lyrics are chillingly good."
The song guaranteed to get you out on the dance floor:
“6 Foot 7 Foot” by Lil Wayne
"This song used to play at a club I went to a lot when I lived in Northampton, Massachusetts. Reminds me of my wild days haha!"
A song that feels like love:
“Love Is” by The Chi-Lites
"My boyfriend and I are getting married in October and are planning to incorporate part of this sweet song into the ceremony."
The best road trip song:
"That’s How I Got To Memphis” BY KARL BLAU
"I could listen to this song forever. Especially good if you’re going on a road trip for love."
Your go-to karaoke song:
“Basket Case” by Green Day
"I’m really bad at remembering song lyrics (besides my own.) This is one of the few songs that I can remember the lyrics to because of how much I used to listen to it when I was a young teen."
A song that made you want to be a musician:
“California” by Joni Mitchell
"This was one of the first songs I learned on guitar. That whole album [ Blue (1971) ] is still so vibrant and refreshing even though she wrote those songs over 40 years ago."