Having been released February 25th, this extended album features a whopping twenty songs in total. It’s separated into two parts: The Devil being the first, and The Deep Blue Sea to follow, with each album having ten songs apiece.
The music of Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters demonstrates insight and wit to the stories Platt tells through her songwriting. Lyrically driven, the band’s country roots music often inspires introspection, whether it be about life on the road, heartache, or hope.
Platt has a knack for accessing a deep well of emotion and applying it to her story-telling, whether she is writing from her own experiences or immersing herself into the melody of emotions in another person’s life.
The Honeycutters is comprised of five members: Amanda Anne Platt, who takes the reigns as lead songwriter and vocalist, Matt Smith (pedal steel, electric guitar), Rick Cooper (bass, vocals), Evan Martin (drummer, vocals) and Kevin Williams (keys, vocals).
We had the chance to chat with Platt about the new double album, what’s on tap next, and much more.
So you’ve got your new double album, The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, freshly released. One album is a big accomplishment let alone a double. How long has the band been working on this project?
I’ve had the idea for a double album with this name for a number of years now. Early on in the pandemic we started talking about doing some home recordings, which morphed into the idea of releasing singles every month, and then something clicked, and I decided it made sense to make the pandemic project the double album project that I had been thinking of. So we’ve really only been working on it since Summer 2020 but the idea and most of the songs date back to the early 20 teens.
What made you decide to make a double album rather than release two separate ones?
I specifically wanted the two albums to go together, I see them kind of as two sides of the same coin. The sort of deeper concept behind the double album was the duality of creativity (at least as I experience it), the manic, outgoing, productive side, and the sleepier, introspective, dreamy side. So it made sense to me for them to be in one package.
What particular challenges did you face throughout the making of it?
The first challenge was the pandemic… when we started recording, it was still ill-advised to be in a small room with a bunch of people you weren’t living with. So we did a lot of the initial tracking remotely, and Evan (my husband, who plays drums and some keys on the album as well as co-produced it) and I have a toddler so that was fun. Then when we committed to the format of releasing the album in pieces (two songs each month) the studio was open and we were able to record some of the drums and vocals there, but there was a lot of scrambling to complete tracks on time and make sure everyone uploaded their parts to Dropbox or whatever. It kind of turned into a late homework assignment. But we got into the rhythm by the end, and were able to record a couple of tracks live, all together in the studio. And that felt amazing because it had been so long.
Can you touch on any other differences between or throughout the two albums?
I would just add that the original idea was to have The Devil be all full band recordings and The Deep Blue Sea be just me and my guitar. But then we ended up fleshing most of those songs out with more instruments anyway because it sounded pretty.
Was there a song or two that was particularly difficult to write or record, whether it be emotionally or otherwise?
I’d say that there were a few songs that had taken on new or deeper meaning by the time we got around to recording them. In the case of “Lessons in Gravity,” in between recording it and releasing it, my family suffered a loss. So when I got the track and listened to it in my car, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. A lot of the songs were written during a period of major transition in my life, so there are some big emotions in there that I had to revisit when we recorded.
How did making The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea challenge you creatively?
I think maybe the hardest part for me was the follow through… I get a lot of big ideas and then talk myself out of them. So it was all well and good when I told the label that this was what I wanted to do, but I had a lot of doubt during the process. “This is silly, no one cares, no one even buys albums anymore let alone double albums, no one will get it, I don’t even get it, these songs are not good, I should go to sleep because it’s four in the morning,” etc. It’s noisy in my head!
How does the songwriting process typically work in the band?
I write all the songs.
What messages or feelings do you usually try to convey in your music?
I don’t know that I have that information when I start writing a song… usually I’m just trying to process something. I guess I write a lot about forgiveness. And innocence.
What might Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters have in store for spring and summer? Any big/small tour plans etc.?
We have some small tour plans. We’re doing some Northeast/ Midwest shows in early summer and then hopefully we’ll be out West in Aug/Sept. We’re easing back into it.