With the release of her third single, ‘Shoulder Pads’, Amy-Jo is proving herself to be a shrewd marketer as well as writer of her own material. This is because each new song proves to be a step up in quality from the last, and her debut offering already provided a high point for which to aim. The Morecambe-based artist now turns up the decibels as well as the tempo on this latest track, which is infused with soul and dabbles with blues and rock. Comparisons with Laura Evans are inevitable. The opening bars chime with those of ‘Mercy’ by Duffy. But these only serve to illustrate how supremely-talented Amy-Jo is, whose originality is marked here by the creative application of her various influences, including that of the ‘After’ film series. Referenced in the line “You’re my Hardin to my Tessa”, Amy-Jo subtly takes the characteristics of its female lead and blends it with her own, producing a semi-autobiographical second verse that belies the attitude that punches through the song’s strong beats. The underlying message: underestimate this “squeaky clean prom queen… [who] don’t swear, and I haven’t pierced my ears” at your peril. ‘Shoulder Pads’ is a real anthem, heralding her upcoming EP, ‘Songs from the Bay’, as a must-listen.
Originally written for and published on Belles & Gals on March 14th 2023.