The music of Amanda Thorpe is never easy to pigeonhole (though it tends to lodge snugly in the subconscious). While staying true to her strong sense of melody, Amanda's smart, often intensely personal songs with roots in folk and jazz subtly challenge our expectations of familiar forms. Her influences are as diverse as British pop-poet, Nick Drake and the sultry Francois Hardy, to guitar-god and wordsmith Richard Thompson, the Velvet Underground and Blondie. Her most recent recording, Bewitching Me: The Lyrics Of Yip Harburg, explores the works of American Songbook lyricist with a uniquly Amanda Thorpe approach to the interpretations of these familar songs.
Shortly after moving to New York City, Amanda co-founded the catchy folk-rock quintet, Wirebirds, in the late 90’s. The 'birds built a loyal following and garnered national attention in Billboard magazine. "Combine the folk rock of Fairport Convention and the Byrds with a 90s sensibility, and the result is the Wirebirds," wrote Billboard Talent Editor Melinda Newman, noting the groups compelling, radio-friendly sound. When Amanda went solo she honed her song writing craft in ASCAP prestigious Advanced Songwriters workshop and was selected to perform in several National Academy of Popular Music showcases.
Her EP, Too Many Spirits, is a collection of seven deceptively simple folk-pop tunes that highlights Amanda poetic sensibility and harmonies that one fan compared to choir beneath the sea. Spirits' songs range in mood from the romantic exuberance of 'Inside Out' to the sweet, jazzy melancholy of 'Morning Way'.The EP established Amanda as a unique voice in the crowded cosmos of downtown performers and earned her the coveted critic pick rating from Time Out, NY, the city nightlife bible.
Mass, co-produced with Garry Rindfuss, displays her powerful and haunting vocals over a sonic landscape. As was noted in Variety.com, Amanda's vocals "balance brassiness and vulnerability with panache." While the song 'Always' resembles an ultra-hip interpretation of a 1940s nightclub standard, the sing-along guitar pop of 'Splinters' and coffeehouse intimacy of 'Toy Guitar' reveal an artist who moves confidently between the traditional and the modern.
Union Square, co-produced with Brad Albetta, and includes guest performances by Graham Nash and Martha Wainwright. Former Wirebirds band mate, Peter Stuart, and Tony Scherr guest on guitars.
Promenade, provides additional co-writes with Philip Shelly and is again co-produced with Brad Albetta and Don Piper. Moving from NYC to Brooklyn, the album provides a range of songs using the new environment and local landmarks in her songs.
Bewitching Me: The Lyrics of Yip Harburg, co-produced with Don Piper, is a unique homage the the song writing craft and skill of the oft under appreciated Yip Harburg. Her unique take on the songs pull them out of the realm of a standards album in to a truly unique interpretation of these great songs.
Amanda has been an active guest in Joe McGinty's Losers Lounge, and her other band projects have included Bedsit Poets with Edward Rogers, and The Amygdaloids with Joe LeDoux.
Now, currently residing in Paris, her new musical explorations include chanson, yé-yé, and Gypsy Jazz.