Amanda Anne Platt is a seasoned singer-songwriter, who backed by her band The Honeycutters, have been active in the Asheville, North Carolina, music scene and beyond since 2007.
This contemporary Americana quartet features Matt Smith (electric and pedal steel guitar), Rick Cooper (bass), and Evan Martin (drums), while Platt’s vocals front the group. Built around poignant lyrics and inspired by country melodies, the group’s songs are just as lively as they are heartfelt – a rare combination. Much like past albums, inspiration arose from Platt’s life. The band is taking a different approach with this release though, with what they’re calling a “deconstructed album”. Following the trend of artists releasing several singles consecutively, Platt plans on a series of releases that will culminate in the loose form of an album.
Their May 14th release, “Burn,” and “Another Winter Gone,” is the second pair of songs to be released from the group’s deconstructed album. The two complement each other through similar bass-driven grooves and instrumentals that highlight the vocal lines. “Burn,” is an astute illustration of the process of something coming to an end, while “Another Winter Gone” reflects on the relationship of time and how it passes, and where we fall into place. Both songs are introspective, emotional, and right on brand for Platt’s writing style.
On April 2nd, the group released the first set of singles, “New York,” and “Open Your Door.” The latter provides a glimpse into the vulnerable experience of being an artist; a melancholy piano accompanies Platt’s voice as it dances through the story. “New York,” tells the all too familiar story of leaving home, with the fresh perspective of an artist on the road.
Just following the April release, we were lucky to get to chat with Platt about the first installment of singles, the overall album concept, and more.
So I was hoping you can break down the story behind the first side of your duo of singles, “New York.”
It’s a song about leaving. I wrote it in my childhood bedroom when the house I grew up in was about to be sold… it was during a time when a lot of things were changing/shifting in my life and my definition of home was being broken down and rebuilt. I guess I hadn’t started rebuilding it yet. Our tour brought us up to NY twice that year, and I think I made a third trip for personal reasons, and every time I left it felt like I was having to say goodbye to something else that I had thought would always be part of my life. But when I sing it now, it can be about anything/anyone I’ve had to say goodbye to before or since. It’s that feeling of knowing something is ending and so everything gains significance even if it’s not over yet.
And what was the inspiration for the flipside track, “Open Up Your Door”?
I think the inspiration for this one was inspiration itself… I was feeling like I had stopped writing songs for myself, and I was always thinking about how it would feel to play them in front of someone. I wrote it at a time when I felt like I had abandoned myself in a lot of other ways too. Originally I called it “My Song” and I didn’t intend to record it. But then I thought about how that would just perpetuate the cycle…
In what ways do these songs tie together, and how do they differ?
I chose them as the first singles because in a way they are both about beginnings… beginnings from endings. In the years since our last studio album (self titled, 2017), I’ve had some pretty gigantic changes in my life, and I’ve grown up a lot. Both of these songs are looking back. “New York” is more external, “Open Up Your Door” is a little more introspective. That’s kind of the theme of this double album, one side being the more outgoing and the other being more ruminative.
Understanding that you’ll be releasing these groupings every month, will each grouping intentionally hold a different meaning, purpose, or theme signified towards the album’s entirety?
That’s an excellent question and the answer is I’m not sure! I had the overarching idea for this album a long time ago and when it came time to pull the trigger I organized the groupings somewhat randomly… but I’m a big believer in serendipity. Everything I wrote for the last question occurred to me after I had decided that those would be the first two. Now it makes perfect sense, though. So yes I think they will but I don’t know what yet (haha).
What made you decide to release your album in this way?
Our label has been putting out strings of singles from artists for a while, as a way to keep the flow of music going. I’m someone who really loves an album (I still have a CD wallet in my car) and for things to be part of a greater whole. This was kind of a compromise. I had already had the idea for the double album and in talking it over with Ty Gilpin we developed the concept of the “deconstructed” album.
How does the songwriting process work within the group?
I write the songs and show them to the guys. I don’t usually think of instrumental hooks, so the finished sound develops as we all play the song together and they add their instruments.
Is there a particular song or two off the record that you’re most excited for fans/the public to hear?
All of it! This is a fun and exciting way to be making music… I think at the moment I’m most excited about the last B side which will be released in December, just because it feels like it will be a really good way to wrap up.
If you can describe the record in one word, what would it be?
Are there tentative plans to play out/tour in support of the album once it’s released?