Amy Millan is the co-frontperson of pop-tastic Canadian indie troupe Stars. She's a member of Broken Social Scene. She sings backing vocals on a ton of songs on fellow BSSer Jason Collett's sophomore album and now, well... now Amy Millan is a solo artist. Her debut album, Honey From The Tombs, was released in Canada last month and is set for release in the USA at the end of August.
With an up front country twang, Millan fills Honey with track after track of "relationship" songs. Album opener "Losin' You," like quite a few cuts on this record, is a simple acoustic guitar song that clocks in at just over two minutes. Backed only by a guitar and sporadic backing vocal harmonies (which she sings herself), Millan sings from the heart about the last days of a failed relationship. Tracks like "Ruby II," "Baby I," "He Brings Out The Whiskey In Me" and "Pour Me Up Another" fall into the description above. They're lyrically driven, country-esque songs about breaking up and drinking too much, two activities that DEFINITELY go hand in hand... especially in the world of the sensitive indie rocker.
But not every song on this record is a simple, country-leaning affair. Infused throughout Honey are tracks that rock ("Headsfull'), tracks that are pop-tastic ("Skinny Boy"), tracks that ooze traditional bluegrass ("Blue In Yr Eye"), tracks that are experimental ("Wayward And Parliament"), and tracks that are simply elegant and beautiful ("Come Home Loaded Roadie").
With her debut album, Amy Milan has set herself apart from her Stars and Broken Social Scene peers and established herself as an extraordinary songwriter, compiling 12 brilliant offerings that would make Jenny Lewis anxious to get back into the studio to write her sophomore album. Even on the 30th listen, this record sounds as fresh and is as thought provoking as the first time through. As a big fan of Stars, I was eagerly anticipating this release, but I'm not exaggerating when I say it blew me away and continues to do so today.