Amanda Thorpe
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Amanda Thorpe

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Band Folk Jazz


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Picks and Pans. Worth A Listen."

Amanda Thorpe
This New York City based singer’s indie label debut brims with lovely melodies and haunting vocals. A cast of remarkable musicians (Joe McGinty, Tony Scherr) helps sustain the smoky mood.

"Amanda Thorpe, Mass - Cropduster"

HIGH BIAS CD Review Michael Toland
An NYC-based songwriter, Amanda Thorpe brings the concept of the chanteuse into the 21st century with Mass. There's a smoky, intimate ambiance to this record, as if the studio was moved into a nightclub with a very large tab set up for the participants. Thorpe runs her jazzy folk/pop songs through a variety of electronics-tinged textures, bringing upbeat pop songs and seductive balladry under the same darkly romantic umbrella. Held together as much by Thorpe's versatile singing as by her love noir vision, Mass silkily moves through the crowd with a drink in one hand, the other lightly brushing your shoulder as it passes by.
For fans of: Jane Siberry, Holly Palmer, Joe Henry


Immedia Wire Service
P.32 Living Arts Pages
Amanda Thorpe, Mass - Cropduster
The beauty of these songs is beyond the power of words to describe. Quiet, yet monumental. Soft yet bracing, Amanda Thorpe sings in such a way as to rearrange the molecules of your body. This is a truly great recording. The G-Man

- HIGH BIAS / The G-Man

"Voice Choices - Music Friday 13th"

Vol XLVI - No. 15
Amanda Thorpe + Barbara Brousal
Two of the most distinctive voices on the local scene pair off here, with Thorpe pitting her ingenue-cum-mystic popcraft against Brousal's vaguely jazzy coffeehouse confessions - an encounter that promises to generate at least one or two tingles. Is Loisaida's shrinking bohemia big enough for two stiletto sharp divas...or will this be a post-P.J. Harvey version of the Sharks verses the Jets? C-Note at 9. (Sprague)


"CD: Mass (Cropduster Records)"

By Les Reynolds
Artist: Amanda Thorpe
In a word -- Wow!
In a nutshell -- English-born, New York City-based singer-songwriter Amanda Thorpe has a voice to die for, songwriting skills to match and a musician lineup of talent that will make your head spin. That's what makes up her latest release.
On her list of 10 originals and one jazz standard, the sultry, haunting songstress swings from soprano to alto so easily you scarcely notice. Her compelling and stunningly exquisite vocals are entrancing to say the very least. And it's all done in her very sweet sounding, very British accent.
This gorgeous mix of jazz, blues and folk offers spellbinding instrumental work, as well. The 17 musicians (that's right -- 17, not counting Amanda) assembled provide an array of talent that features Tony Scherr's skin-tingling slide guitar, Chris Flynn's lap-steel guitar, Tricia Woods and Kevin Topping on keyboards and the percussion of Alan Bezzozi and Garry Rindfuss. In fact, Amanda is quite the multi-talented musician herself, performing on autoharp, guitars, keys, recorders and some percussion.
Tune by tune, well, there's nothing but pure quality of the higest caliber from the eerie, haunting opener "This Dear City" to the closing "Hymn." Most of her tunes are melodic masterpieces, sultry and entrancing. An elegant silken flow is evident in each song and connects each tune.
Lyrically, a masterpiece. She writes: "The sun beats down on my neck, I am burning. The salt dries out my mouth, leaves me thirsty. But I keep on walking and tighten my eyes, I cannot see where I am going. Snakes crawl out of the grass wherever I go footsteps uncertain... and I don't know where I am heading and I don't know what I'll find. I've lost the map to my reason in this dear city... Heat causes mirage on the sidewalk, it is steaming Whichever way I turn there are razors waiting... but I keep on walking... in this dear city..." (from the opener)
The very best tune, overall, however, is the very sexy rendition of the old jazz standard "Them There Eyes," (written by Pinkard, Tracey and Tauber in 1930 -- made famous by Billie Holiday). Amanda's voice is nothing short of spellbinding and Tony's slide guitar threads around a pulsing beat.
In another word -- Incredible.
In a few more words -- Hopefully, New York has embraced this fantastic singer and songwriter and the rest of the country, and the world, will follow soon.

"CD Review: Amanda Thorpe – Union Square"

February 25, 2008

This could be the ultimate autumnal New York album, perfect for grey days with a chill in the air, winter’s hand tugging impatiently on the curtains. The songs on Union Square are gorgeously wistful and intensely poignant. What Linda Thompson was to the 70s and early 80s, Amanda Thorpe is to this era, another British expat steeped in traditional English folk, possessed of one of the most beautifully haunting voices you will ever hear. Thorpe is somewhat more diverse, however: she will give you eerie austerity and resigned melancholy, but she also has a seductive, torchy side with great nuance. This is the first solo release for Thorpe – who also fronts the supremely catchy Bedsit Poets– since her first album, Mass, in 2002, and it was well worth the wait.

By contrast to Mass, a lushly produced, smokily atmospheric effort, this one is remarkably terse and direct. Every note on this album counts. Thorpe is accompanied here by a choice crew of New York luminaries – co-producer Brad Albetta (also of Mary Lee’s Corvette) on bass, Bill Frisell sideman Tony Scherr on guitar and upright bass, Bob Perry on lapsteel and ex-Psychedelic Fur Joe McGinty on keys. The album kicks off with the sarcastic Life Is Great, a lament directed at a pillhead: “Life is great with a hole inside.” Perry adds layers of bluesy lapsteel over Thorpe’s understatedly frustrated vocals. Track two, “Won’t You Let Me” (a co-write with Phillip Shelley) is pure seduction set to a sweetly soaring Albetta bassline. The next track, “River Song” is arguably Thorpe’s finest hour as a songwriter, a vivid account of rejection and despair, here recast with something of a Madder Rose-style 90s trip-hop feel. After that, “Next to Me” makes a good segue, Thorpe holding up a red flag – albeit from a distance – to a would-be suitor.

“Burn This House Down”, spiced with juicy blues piano from McGinty, has Thorpe bringing the intensity up to redline as she pulls out all the stops and belts:

Though I still love you
The romance is dead
As you burn this house down
Then Scherr launches into a truly nasty slide guitar solo.

Other standout tracks on this album include the marvelously catchy “You and Me in a Doorway” (written by Shelley) with its lush bed of guitars and lapsteel; the hypnotic, pastoral Over the Sea (a Wirebirds soundalike); the beautifully melancholy title track, and the absolutely brilliant Show Me a Place. Thorpe’s voice longs for something transcending the ordinariness that she’s held on to with such a steely grip, until now. “As long as there were cigarettes and another glass of wine,” everything was ok. But now she sees “my own black silhouette reflect against the sky:” high time for a change. Perry’s layers of lapsteel punch at the melody like a string quartet. Few other singers in Thorpe’s league ever get to sing material this good; still fewer songwriters in Thorpe’s league can deliver it with as much passion, intensity and subtlety as she does. This ought to appeal to a very wide listenership encompassing the purist Richard & Linda Thompson contingent as well as fans of the current group of A-list chanteuses (Feist, Lily Allen, Erica Smith, Rachelle Garniez et al.) and maybe even some of the less adventurous for whom Norah Jones is simply the greatest thing out there. Amanda Thorpe plays next at the Living Room at 7 PM on March 26.
Categories: Music <> · Reviews <>


Too Many Spirits, 1999, Cropduster Records
Mass, 2001, Cropduster Records
Union Square, 2008

Band Projects
Wirebirds: Past & Gone, 2003, Listen Here! Records
Bedsit Poets: Summer That Changed, 2005 Bongo Beat Records
Bedsit Poets: RendezVous, 2008 Bongo Beat Records



Amanda Thorpe is tricky. She’s hard to pigeonhole, but she lodges snugly in the subconscious. As was noted in, Amanda's performances "balance brassiness and vulnerability with panache."
While staying true to her strong sense of melody, Amanda's smart, often intensely personal songs with roots in folk and jazz subtly challenge our expectations of familiar forms. Her influences are as diverse as British pop-poet, Nick Drake and the sultry Francois Hardy, to guitar-god and wordsmith Richard Thompson, the Velvet Underground and Blondie.
Shortly after moving to New York City, Amanda co-founded the catchy folk-rock quintet, Wirebirds, in 1996. The 'birds built a loyal following and garnered national attention in Billboard magazine. "Combine the folk rock of Fairport Convention and the Byrds with a 90s sensibility, and the result is the Wirebirds," wrote Billboard Talent Editor Melinda Newman, noting the groups compelling, radio-friendly sound.
Amanda went solo in 1998, honing her craft in ASCAP prestigious Advanced Songwriters workshop in 1998 and performed in the National Academy of Popular Music 27th showcase.
Her 1999 EP, Too Many Spirits, is a collection of seven deceptively simple folk-pop tunes that highlights Amanda poetic sensibility and harmonies that one fan compared to choir beneath the sea. Spirits' songs range in mood from the romantic exuberance of 'Inside Out' to the sweet, jazzy melancholy of 'Morning Way'. The EP established Amanda as a unique voice in the crowded cosmos of downtown performers and earned her the coveted critic pick rating from Time Out, NY, the city nightlife bible.
Union Square, Thorpe’s new release, gathers a choice crew of New York musical luminaries¬¬—co-producer Brad Albetta (Freedy Johnston, Willie Nile, Teddy Thompson) on bass, Bill Frisell sideman Tony Scherr on guitar and upright bass, and Bob Perry on lap-steel.
This is the first solo release for the British born Thorpe (who also fronts popular Bongo Beat recording artists, the Bedsit Poets) since her debut, Mass (Cropduster), in 2002, and it was well worth the wait. People magazine noted that Mass, “brims with lovely melodies and haunting vocals.” On Union Square, Thorpe delivers a powerful new collection of songs set against the wintry backdrop of her adopted hometown, New York City.