In a world of fabrication and fronts, often the highs and lows of real-life experiences are thrown by the wayside. Yet, more than we realize, the music that touches us most usually comes from a place of profound honesty. Australian songstress Amy Shark understands the value of vulnerability and has shown that she is willing to express herself freely and intimately, by writing music that comes from a place of realism and truth.
On July 13 Amy Shark released her highly anticipated debut album Love Monster, stunning the world with both her clever lyricism and emotive musicality. The album follows a series of moments, snippets of time both personal to Shark yet universally relatable. The musical elements of the project are almost as deeply personal as the stories Shark tells, hosting a striking mix of genres, all of which she has claimed to have drawn influence from in the past. Throughout the album, she builds upon a foundation of indie pop, adding elements of folk and punk with a splash of R&B inspired rhythms, all the while staying rooted in the captivating minimalism of the singer-songwriter genre.
In the spirit of paying homage to Shark's courageous commitment to sharing her story with the world, we deconstructed five moments of profound honesty on Shark's debut which resonated deeply with us.
"I Got You" - Anticipation for Love Realized
Shark opens her debut simply, featuring her trademark guitar licks, light percussion, and silvery vocals. Her voice feels close, as if she is the room with you, sharing a tale of a serious crush and praying for it to come into fruition. The tune embodies a lighthearted feeling of playfulness, a sort of tug of war, during which Shark is trying to show a potential love that it's okay to fall. Her lyric, "Everyone’s stopped just to watch us walk out on the balcony…/There is not many chances in life I can make this happen with you/ Pulling me close every time, would you just come and kiss me already," brings forth a distinct vision of hope and anticipation, an innocent willingness to fall in love.
"The Idiot" - The Throes of a Heartbreak
In pop-rock gem, "The Idiot" Shark candidly expresses the enduring difficulty of a broken heart. The upbeat nature of the track paradoxically counters the pain Shark is recounting, she relents that her or possibly both parties involved were "idiot(s) at the start," because most loves inevitably end in a broken heart. In a peak of emotions, Shark breaks into a fast-paced bridge where she bluntly repeats "Do you know what you put me through? I may not ever trust anyone again in my entire life." Such a plain representation of heartbreak, free of any lyrical frills or cryptic messages, evokes a sense of unique truth and mutual understanding amongst the broken hearted.
"Psycho" - The Anxieties of Freshly Falling in Love
"Psycho" is the only track on the album that includes a feature, and for Shark this artist is overwhelmingly significant and a primary influence for her. Mark Hoppus of blink-182 joins Shark in a heartwarming pop-folk duet, dealing with the trepidation that is often associated with newly falling in love. The lyrics of the chorus repeat in earnest, "And I touch you the way I do/‘Cause I’m falling in love with you/And I don’t do this every day." A line that feels as if it was extracted directly from a private conversation between lovers, and perfectly embodies the vulnerability of realizing love.
"Don't Turn Around" - That Awkward Ex Encounter
In light trap-pop tune, "Don't Turn Around," Shark shares the all too familiar quagmire of running into a former lover. In perfectly relatable fashion, she remarks on how level-headed her ex seems, as her minds swims in a pool of anxiety and apprehension. Making use of a quirky simile, she repeatedly states "Bringing up the past starts a real big fire/Make a girl fly like a bird on a wire."
"You Think I Sound Like God" - Nostalgia & Unrequited Love
In the final track of her debut, Shark opens the floodgates with a melancholic recount of unrequited love. With past visions of "making out in cars" and present yearnings for a future of mutual love and morning coffees, Shark presents a sobering representation of coping with love and rejection. The lyric, "And I'm breaking my back just to run into you/ What part of me are you just not attracted to?" sets off an emotional build lyrically and musically, culminating in a gentle regression, a simple desire to be with someone, to fall in love together.
Can't get enough of the album? Check out our "Live From The Rooftop" session with Shark below: