Amy Vee writes music that both disquiets and mollifies the soul. Her songs are driven by a poetic lyricism that resonates as deeply with those seeking comfort and connection as it does with those seeking escape.
A skilled multi-instrumentalist and award-winning composer and performer, Vee’s latest works sit comfortably in the realm of between indie folk and ambient dream pop.
Her 2019 sophomore solo album Same Skin was regarded as her most musically mature work to date, a clear departure from the folk meanderings of her 2013 debut, Fits & Starts, but a fitting progression from the digital only singles Ten Years (2016), and Red Desert Heart (2018), the former gaining Top 20 chart positions on iTunes and Triple J Unearthed, and the latter recorded as a result of Vee taking out the Studios 301 All Access Competition.
More than a year in the making, Same Skin features rich, dark-magic vocals weaving through a haunting folktronica landscape. Vee’s signature nocturnal delivery takes centre stage, floating over a blissful mélange of acoustic and electronic instrumentation, while Vee explores themes of belonging and becoming.
“There are several references to ghosts… things that haunt us or hold us back,” says the Vee. “The track ‘Same Skin’ came from my feelings about age… that the exterior changes but the same feelings, beliefs, motivations, ideas, desires still exist... even more deeply so”.
Producing the album was Vee’s long-time collaborator, Gareth Hudson of Hazy Cosmic Jive Studio (Buddy Knox, Hilltop Hoods, Briggs), with the two of them covering nearly all of the album’s instrumentation. Recognised more as a guitarist, Vee is also a classically trained pianist and competent violinist, bass player and percussionist.
“We complement each other well… I tend to come in with a cultivated but macro idea and Gareth works more spontaneously to add colour and nuance,” said Vee.
A fully independent artist, Vee completed the album via a successful crowdfunding campaign, her fans effectively acting as her record label.
Same Skin gained steady praise, with Triple J’s Dave Ruby Howe calling it “impressively full-bodied folk”, and prominent Australian nu-folk blog Timber and Steel called it “a sumptuous piece of acoustic pop”. Vee completed a nine-date East Coast tour in late 2019 with a new live outfit and was set to extend touring well into 2020.
But as with most music artists, the global pandemic put a sharp halt to all of Vee’s plans.
With all live show plans postponed and juggling motherhood, post-graduate study and volunteer work as a Board Member for music and mental health charity, Listen Up Music, Vee was adamant about finding time to be creative, scheduling weekly songwriting sessions and experimenting with self-production.
As restrictions relaxed, Vee reunited with Hudson and got to work on crafting a new song – a veritable anthem for introverts.
ARE YOU PRESS?
“For people like me, isolation can be both a blessing and a curse,” said Vee.
“I’m a quiet person. I don’t mind my own company for the most part. But sometimes it’s dangerous. I have a tendency to overthink and I naturally fall into the darker spaces in my mind. It can get overwhelming and emotionally exhausting. And it can be hard to get out of the spiral on my own,” she added.
“We built the song, Forget Me, around my demo and really just tried to capture that feeling of being desperate to connect but too stuck in your own head,” said Vee.
“It’s dark, but it’s honest,” said Vee. “I think there’s an expectation for arts to help steer us through this difficult time, but we the creators are feeling this as much as anyone.”
While the future of live music remains uncertain, Vee continues to solidify her place as one of the most enduring independent artists in Australia.
Forget Me (single) 2020
Same Skin (LP) 2019
Red Desert Heart (single) 2018
I Am the Fire (single) 2017
Ten Years (single) 2016
Fits and Starts (LP) 2013
Sleeping Dogs Lie (EP) 2010
2020 Semi-finalist Unsigned Only
2018 Studios 301 All Access Winner
2013 Finalist ASA Songwriting Contest (Folk/Acoustic)
2013 Independent Music Awards nominee
2012 ARIA nomination - Best Original Soundtrack (The Rock Show)
2009 International Songwriting Competition Semi-Finalist
2009 Shortlisted for Vanda and Young Songwriting Prize
2009 Winner - APRA/ABC Publishing Songwriter of the Year
2007 LA Music Awards Nominee
2005 MUSICOZ Artist of the Year
2005 UK Songwriting Competition Semi-Finalist