A Long, Lovely List of Repairs
In this day where solo acts use band names to hide their identities, Amelia is not the first name of this Portland, Oregon band’s lead singer. Teisha Helgerson handles the vocals and drums for this trio (with producer Mark Orton adding an arsenal of extra instrumentation himself — keyboards, loops, percussion), but this is not the confessional singer-songwriter stuff you might be expecting. Instead, it’s a sweet jazzy noir trip through the kind of slightly askew terrain one expects from a Mitchell Froom production (Crowded House, American Music Club, Richard Thompson). “Tragedy” shuffles sideways with a circuslike sprint. “After You” settles in as an afterhours ballad. “Try” uses spare, elegant harmonies. “Dolores” adds strings and some dirty electric guitar. “The End” throws a piano instrumental in as intermission. Things are kept quiet without lapsing into slo-core territory or slickening towards adult-contemporary pop. The band’s simple yet effective instrumentation leaves plenty of room for Helgerson to croon and keep an almost audio verite feel throughout.