Amilia K Spicer might not be the biggest name in roots music at the moment, but after the new music video for her single “Harlan” hits the airwaves this upcoming September 7th, I have a feeling that every country fan from coast to coast is going to be talking about her exquisitely dynamic approach to songwriting and vocal execution. There’s an elegance to the video for “Harlan” that isn’t present in any of her contemporary’s most refined and polished work, and you can tell that Spicer put a lot of time and effort into developing the narrative and style of the filming to match the emotional effect of the song that it celebrates. Whether you’re familiar with her impeccable work or are just getting into her sound, “Harlan” is sure to hit the spot for anyone who loves big grooves and contemplative lyrics.
There’s a lot of debate over what exactly makes a singer a superstar, but in my book Amilia K Spicer has pretty much everything that it takes. She’s got all the qualities of a Nashville goddess; a pristine but cultured voice, a persona steeped in raw authenticity and songwriting capabilities that put her in heated contention with composers over twice her age. What’s more, her material doesn’t exploit tried and tired themes in country music that aren’t selling anymore (in fact, you could fault them for the creative and commercial decline of the genre altogether). She explores relatable subject matter that explores the depth of her reflective nature and doesn’t hold back when it comes to being vulnerable; something I can only wish to say about other artists her age.
Spicer’s smoky vocals will stain your heart and haunt your dreams in the same vein as a young Patsy Cline, but she pointedly distinguishes herself from any of the forerunners who cleared a path for her career by accentuating her music with modern, high definition clarity in the finished mix that allows us to appreciate even the smallest details in her intricately crafted songs. “Harlan” is actually her best produced track to date, and I think that her competitors and detractors should start getting pretty nervous about their own situations – it’s quite obvious she’s going straight to the top and not taking any prisoners along the way.
Whether you’re a huge, lifelong country music fan like myself or not is quite irrelevant when it comes to Amilia K Spicer, because like all great artists of every genre of music, her style doesn’t fit into any explicitly categorized box in the way that her rivals’ does. She defies the parameters and politics of “scenes” in favor of developing her sound completely and fully, and her passion is spreading like a wildfire that will hopefully improve the greater world of country music as a result. There’s still room for improvement in several areas of her sound, but for this stage of career she shows far more promise and potential than almost anyone else in her age group has. To put it to you straight, keep a close eye on Spicer – she’s made it clear that she’s just getting started.