Resilience and growth are recurring themes in Amara Samchinsky’s music, hence the title of the Calgary-based singer/songwriter’s debut professional recording, Bloom. From the wistful “Wish We Could Be” (with its determined coda, “I will begin again on my own”) to the contemplative “New Year’s Anthem”, there’s always a sense of hope underpinning her songs – whether she’s discussing loss, regret or other challenges in life. The honesty and directness of Amara’s lyrics combined with her driving piano melodies and sweeping arrangements make for a compelling listen.
From a young age, Amara had the desire to create. After studying classical piano for ten years, fronting a rock band in her teens, and wearing out copies of beloved albums such as Science Fair by Emm Gryner and Naveed by Our Lady Peace, she was determined to crack the code of songwriting. What were the structures and patterns that made her favorite tunes work so well? As it turns out, four chords are all you really need and Amara now had a way to translate her ideas into something concrete. In no time, she was writing her own original solo material and performing it live around her hometown of Regina.
After relocating to Calgary, Alberta and taking some time away from the arts to focus on a different career path, it wasn’t long before Amara felt the music calling once again. In January of 2012, she set up shop at The Station Recording Company to produce and record the album she had always dreamt of making. The result is Bloom, a 7-song collection that represents the process of embracing change, opening up and letting go of the past. At the core of each song is Amara’s powerful piano playing and engaging vocals. While her early demos were spare and minimal in their production, Bloom finds Amara broadening her sonic palette to include intricate harmonies, string sections and a full backing band, without sacrificing the intimacy and intensity of her performance style. It all adds up to a sound as expansive as the prairies she grew up on. In sharing her songs with others, Amara hopes to inspire other people to communicate and express themselves through art, just like her early musical mentors did.
Written by Gillian Mahoney