Get Introspective With Amy Blake's "Circles In the Sand"

Amy Blake is an Irish singer-songwriter living in Vancouver, Canada. Born in Dublin, Ireland, she comes from a large family of musicians and writers and has been immersed in music since she was a small child.

Most notably, Amy Blake is the granddaughter of Peadar Mercier, bodhran player, and original member of Irish trad group The Chieftains. It was while she was studying music at University that she began to explore self-expression through her own compositions, and thus began her journey of establishing her song-writing style.

Rooted in Alternative Folk/Pop of the present, she presents to us the most recent release from her music catalog; “Circles In the Sand.” Produced by Daniel Klenner at North Bluff Studios, the instrumentation is carried out by both himself and Amy Blake. Indulging listeners in a jaunty and playful ambiance through the pulsating instrumentation, the pairing of Amy Blake’s delicate vocals cascade with the musical elements in an atmospheric and intriguing manner.

Through euphonious harmonies and an intimate display of lyrics that allow her to get vulnerable while remaining abstract in a way organic to her songwriting, Amy Blake lures us into gentle ominous hues as her voice peaks and dips in the emphasis placed in this narrative. Illuminating the complex emotions that shape our comprehension of the world we live in, Amy Blake’s reminiscent styling allows her to establish a lane that is true to her authentic, traditional Irish singing.

Amy Blake brings something different to the table when it comes down to her craft, and this refreshing take, allows us to fall even deeper into the flourishing tales she casts out. We dare you to not be intrigued by the way this chronicle weaves itself through lyrical motifs that delve into introspective and honeyed hues.

Welcome to BuzzMusic, Amy Blake, and congratulations on the release of “Circles In the Sand.” We love the overall quintessence of this piece! It carries numerous elements that evoke emotion, and we’re here for it! How did you come to work with Daniel Klenner in order to allow this vision to thrive?

Thank you so much! I'm excited that this song is now out in the world! I have been working with Daniel for the past few years, and I find that he's very musically intuitive. My music comes to life in a really special and authentic way when we work together. I think from the get-go we realized that 'Circles' was quite different from other songs that I've written, as it was more playful and tongue and cheek than the songs that came before. We really hit the ground running with this playfulness, and allowed the track to really evolve into this kind of weird and wonderful bop.

How long did it take you to create “Circles In the Sand?" Could you please share a glimpse of what the creative process looked like when fashioning this piece together?

I wrote this song last May and took it in to the studio in September. Dan and I spent two full days in the studio tracking this song. 'Circles in the Sand', like all my songs, started as a voice memo that I then sent to Dan prior to our sessions. I had an acoustic vision of the song, and together, in the studio, we decided how this song was going to take shape. There were a few really important elements for me in that I wanted to be very prominent on the track: 1. the recurring bass notes in the guitars, and 2. The ritardando (slow down) at the end of the chorus. Because of this 'freer' rhythm, we had to record this song without a click track. This meant that drums, guitar 1, and vocals were all tracked together, which was a really fun and kind of hypnotic experience. This rhythmic freedom is central to the experience of the song, and for me, to its overall sentiment. I wanted this song to sound really dreamy, so we have many lush three-part harmony lines and reverb on the vocals. I perform all vocals and guitar 1 on this track, and Dan performs drums, bass, piano, and guitar 2.

Did you find this subject fairly easy to write about? How would you describe your songwriting style?

My songwriting style is typically quite self-reflective, and my goal as an artist is to give voice to the complex emotions that we experience as humans. I typically don't shy away from difficult themes. While this song emerged as a product of isolation during the pandemic, it rings true for life in general. One can notice this from day to day - how joyous moments are often followed by bouts of intense existential dread. How can these two conflicting emotions sit in such close proximity to one another?

What are you hoping that your audience takes away from “Circles In the Sand?"

Ultimately I want the listener to feel good. This song is really fun, upbeat, and quirky - and yes - it covers themes like existential dread and hard feelings that sit in your bones and weigh you down. But how weird, wonderful, and often painful it is to be alive and to experience these feelings. I would love my listeners to just reflect on the universality of this internal conflict while inviting them to tap their toes, nod their heads to the music, or move in any way that feels good.

What's your favorite release of 2021, from an independent artist you admire?

My favorite release from an independent artist in 2020/2021 is Alysha Brilla's 'Love'. Alysha really is an inspiration to all independent artists out there as someone who writes and produces her own music. She is also incredibly generous with her time and offers mentorship and virtual workshops via her online portal. 'Love' is a beautiful and delicate track with both tender and powerhouse vocals. I love the instrumentation and her vocal embellishments. It's a winner for me.