Amida
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Amida

Manchester, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Manchester, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Alternative Pop

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"Arts and Crafts Review"

This debut EP from the Manchester quintet, released somewhat bizarrely by Peru based label Plastilina, offers us six slivers of shambolic delight. These songs race along in the style of Pavement with a shot of 60s pop, and while at points it sounds like they may break down mid-song, the jangling guitar always manages to pull things loosely back on track. At just under 13 minutes long, ‘Arts and Crafts’ is an all too short burst of unpolished, pop pleasure.

Graham Reid - Is This Music?


"Arts & Crafts EP of the Week Review"

Amida are a rare commodity in Manchester. They're a band who don't take themselves seriously yet can produce quite stunning tunes. They inject humour without being overtly funny. "Class Of 2000" is maybe one of the cleverest jangly pop songs you'll hear this year. It's a sound repeated on "Monkey Puzzle" with guitars and what sounds glockenspiels jockeying for position. Amida can crash and jumble their sounds and still walk out of it all with an air of sophistication, gallons of innocent charm all shaped by knowing, rusty guitar shaped bustles. "It Started In Naples" along with all the songs enjoys a chord count and 60's sub-tone that The Ramones would be proud of, yet the band still remain miles away from the nearest fuzz pedal. This is a remarkably consistent mini-album – "We'd Suit Each Other" shows no signs of abating the quality even though it slips in as something more akin to a ballad. In fact half of the songs on this CD firt surfaced on the bands Summer demo but there's no sense of boredom at all in hearing them all again. Closing with "Virtue Was Your Downfall" there's another firm reminder of how Amida's sparkling rings of melody set them apart from so many other new bands. Bigger things to follow for sure. - Manchester Music.co.uk


"Indie.mp3 Review"

Amida hail from Manchester but they could easily pass for coming from Glasgow circa 1981 with some stragglers from Edinburgh hitching a lift such is the influence from the likes of Orange Juice, Josef K and The Fire Engines to name but a few. This is jangle pop harking back to Postcard's golden days and although the band wear their influences on their sleeve they also inject their own passion and creativity into the mix. These are with great pop tunes with glorious harmonies, catchy lyrics and you may well need them in your life right now! - Indie.mp3


"Arts & Crafts Review"

Amida's Arts & Crafts EP has six shining examples of the sort of short, jangly, laidback music that isn't afraid to be happy, albeit dourly; it's the aural equivalent of a lazy summer, and as we're only in March, it wouldn't be unsurprising to find that a couple of months down the line, the name Amida a well regarded one amongst the so-called right people.

With a vocal style across between Dave Cooke and Malcolm Middleton of Being 747 and Arab Strap respectively, Amida's John Ammirati writes lyrics that are slightly nonsensical at times ("all this talk and indecision made her forget her long division"), but never grate, and fit perfectly with the delightfully simple instrumentation, with exactly the right amount of fancy guitar solos (i.e. none).

As final track Virtue Was Your Downfall's charming yet slightly discordant guitars reach their climax – or anti-climax – it seems hard to imagine that you've just listened to 6 tracks of music. Now everyone knows that short songs are the best. Of course, there are exceptions, such as The Fall and most post-rock, but it's still lovely that the longest song on this EP is just 2 minutes and 18 seconds long. Song length, though, is incidental when they're of this calibre. Give Amida a listen. - Patrick Dowson, Tasty Fanzine


"Double date for power-poppers Amida"

LONG-term, monogamous romantic types be warned - Manchester popsters Amida might not be the band for you.

"We're like the one-night stand of indie guitar bands," says Amida's American singer and spokesperson John Ammirati matter-of-factly. "We get straight to the point and we'll love you and leave you. And, in the morning, we'll kiss you goodbye and say we'll call you soon. But chances are we probably won't."

In truth, the world of rising indie-popsters Amida isn't quite as lascivious as John makes out in his opening gambit to CityLife. But there's definitely a feeling of `keep them wanting more' to Amida's pop game-plan thus far.

New debut EP, Arts And Crafts, offers up a masterclass in sun-flecked, Pixies-inspired pop economy (the longest track on there clocks in at just two minutes) and the band's live performances have left Manc audiences stunned with their 'blink and you'll miss it' potent pop majesty. Less means a whole lot more in Amida world.

John says: "As a band, we like to keep things brief. When we play live, we prefer to play short sets of short songs. We don't want to waste an audience's time by staying on stage and boring them.

"Too many bands do that. It's so easy for a band to go on a stage and play hours and hours of guitar solos and be indulgent and clichéd.

"With this band, we want to get on stage, do our business as fast as we can, then run away ... but leave you with a lasting impression."

You could argue 'commitment issues' run deep in Amida's genetic make-up.

Lead singer John describes himself as feeling `rootless and restless', a peripatetic boho musician who left his home state of Arizona ("nobody ever makes it as a musician from there," he says) to relocate to England.

First, he lived in Cambridge, then Sheffield, and finally and wisely, Manchester. And what was the appeal of our city? He likens it to, err, Gotham City, the home of Batman.

He says: "Manchester to me is very much like the Gotham City of Britain, especially if you walk around the older parts of the city centre. It's like a city that's constantly on edge, a cartoon-ish edge. But that edge gives Manchester its vitality and creativity."

Vowed

John met the rest of his Amida band mates - guitarist Andrew Beswick, drummer Scott Challinor, bassist James Aran Cooper and keyboardist Sabastian J. Hood - via the usual channels of musician wanted ads and vowed to channel all that `romantic restlessness' into great, transcendent pop music, which they certainly did.

Inspired by everything from Radiohead to The Pixies to film director Francois Truffaut to Japanese art (John: "That's where the name Amida comes from - a Japanese painting titled The Scent of Amida Over The Mountains, but it's not supposed to be pretentious."), Amida mix artistry, intellect and economic pop savvy with all the detailed precision of biochemists.

But what ultimately underpins everything (much like John's nomadic journeyman existence from America to England) is that unwavering sense of adventure and romantic unity. It's a sentiment summed up by the lead track on their debut EP, a dizzying fuzz-pop number entitled Class Of 2000, which crystallises the band's do-or-die ethos.

John says: "That song is quite self-explanatory. It's basically about the classmates who I graduated from college with back in America. Back then, they all had these dreams - to be a painter, to be a writer, to be musicians. And now they're all settled down with children and office jobs, and they're wondering where their dreams went.

Childhood dreams

"That song is like my tribute to them. How you should never give up on those childhood dreams."

Quite. If that sort of goggle-eyed romanticism has already won a cult following on the fringes on the Manc indie scene, then Arts & Crafts should see them finally creep out of the shadows and join the likes of Polytechnic and Carlis Star in the sun-baked summer-pop renaissance that's sweeping through our city right now (once it stops raining, that is).

There's also talk of a second EP with top indie label Plastilina Records later in the year but, for now, this commitment-phobe of a band do seem to be intensely committed to one thing - and that's shaking Manc music out of its complacency.

"As a band, we're defined more by what we don't want to be," insists John. And what don't you want to be?

He responds immediately: "Coldplay! I'd hate to be categorised as sexless, soul-less guitar music. The bands that we've been compared to so far are very indie, underground stuff, C86 indie bands {hellip} very twee, wistful music. And I guess that's fair enough.

"But we're definitely changing as a band. For the second EP, I'd like us to have a bit more bite ... be seen as much more aggressive and violent."

Violence? Romantic escapism? Manchester re-imagined as Gotham City? Amida might well come across like a one-night stand live band, but it's a night you're unlikely to forget in a hurry. Feel free to call back any time, boys.... - David Sue, Manchester Evening News


"Bristol Live Review, 28/3/08"

And then there was Amida, the casually brilliant pop band with a vocalist who speak-sings lines like "Tiger baby, all I’m trying to say is virtue was your downfall more than the grave" over Postcard-perfect guitar lines. With only one six-song EP to their name, they were bound to play my favourite, but when they did, the vocals and guitar were sadly lost in a battle of ill-mix to the should-be-backing keyboards. Corrected by the next song, their set seemed, like bank holiday weekends and the best of pop songs, over too soon.
- Kristen Grayewski, Venue Bristol


"Birmingham Live Review"

'They did play what was a fantastic set, mixing all kinds of influences. At times they touch on the blend of enthusiasm and sensitivity that
you may find caught on the grooves of Postcard records, and at other times they find a sharp chord sequence and rhythm that wouldn't look
out of place on a Buzzcocks song. The upbeat tunes and short songs made them come across as a very summery band, which was just perfect given the weather.' - The Autumn Store


Discography

'Virtue Was Your Downfall' - 'The Kids At the Club' Compilation, HDIF label/ September 2006
'Arts & Crafts' - Plastilina Records/ January 2007
'End Of The Affair' - Indietracks Compilation, Make, Do & Mend/ July 2008
'Chapter Two' - 'Starting Anew' Compilation, WeePop Records/ January 2009
'If The Wave Loves Two Suns' - WeePop Records/ April 2009
'The Spite House Plot' - Fika Recordings / May 2011
'My Life as a Trashcan' - Jigsaw Recorings/ May 2012

Photos

Bio

Amida are a Manchester based alt/pop band who formed in November 2005. They recorded a demo early 2006 which was warmly received and after playing the ‘How Does It Feel To Be Loved' (HDIF) club night in London they were featured on the 'Kids At The Club' compilation. Released by HDIF in September 2006, this compilation received high praise from the likes of The Guardian, Pitchfork.com, and Plan B magazine, who hailed it as ‘the real sound of the indiepop underground’.

The debut EP ‘Arts & Crafts’ was released on Peru-based independent label Plastilina Records in January 2007 and was described as 'jangle pop harking back to Postcard Record's golden days' (indiemp3.com) and 'a masterclass in sun-flecked, Pixies-inspired pop economy' (Manchester Evening News).

Amida have supported bands such as Camera Obscura, Pains of Being Pure at Heart and the Television Personalities, and have played at festivals such as Indietracks, NYC Popfest and Indie Pop Days in Berlin. They have released records with Jigsaw, FIka, WeePop! and are due to release a single with Manic Pop in June this year.