Amy Duncan
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Amy Duncan

Band EDM Folk


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"Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange"

Amy Duncan's voice needs to be insured by Lloyd's of London. Like other talented female vocalists from Joni Mitchell to Patti Smith, the sheer range and power of Duncan's vocal apparatus are breathtaking. From the sweetest high notes to the most soulful bass tones, Duncan's voice evolves through her songs literally before your ears. On tracks like You see (right in), something about her phrasing is one part Joan Baez, one part Irish folk and one part Sarah Brightman. Walk Away is another piece showing off Amy's vocal virtuosity and range. The songs are at home at sunny picnics as they would be on a stormy night. The emotional expression in her music is reminiscent of Sinead O'Connor. Her creations communicate directly heart to heart.

The suspended notes in I Surrender, leave the listener in limbo while Amy's voice soars from heavenly heights to stygian depths. Near the end of the song, softly plucked harmonics tinkle through the air and then we're back to the verse. All the songs feature unobtrusive instrumental accompaniment, allowing Amy's angelic voice to shine through.

Pilgrimage, the last song on the album and title track, has an 80's feel to it, jazzy soft rock bass and keyboards, with piano in the foreground. On this one Amy sounds especially Sinead.

And your brutal army,
we'll meet, but you'll never reach me,
because I'm on a pilgrimage
and your weapon won't keep me from finding my home." - Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

"Blogcritics magazine"

Imagine yourself lying in a sunny, comfortable place, with the window open just enough to let a fragrant breeze flow through. There are no people sounds, just distant nature and the quiet of the wind. As your mind and body float in a half-asleep/half-awake state, everything seems just about perfect. This is the space and time that I am sent to when I listen to Amy Duncan's EP Pilgrimage.

Duncan is a classically trained double bassist who has lent her talents to a variety of artists in Scotland, including the now defunct band Swelling Meg. She has since stepped away from classical music and decided to focus on her songwriting, as well as piano and acoustic guitar skills. When she recorded Pilgrimage, she didn't intend for it to be distributed beyond her Edinburg gigs, but San Francisco indie record label Plain Recordings (The Flaming Lips, My Bloody Valentine) discovered it on MySpace and picked it up.

The EP is a collection of eight tracks that tend to blur together in my mind, but in a good way. There are a few lines and hooks that stand out in particular, such as the doubled vocals in "Walk Away" ("be true to yourself, and everything will be right") or the tumbling fall of notes that cycle through "The Only Sound." Duncan's voice blends or contrasts perfectly with whichever instrument she chooses, guitar or piano. The song arrangements highlight the rich tones in her voice, regardless of the register in which she is singing.

Pilgrimage is simple and luscious acoustic pop that will be well received by shoegazers and folkies alike. Duncan is working on a full album, so when the thirty-five minutes of bliss ends, comfort yourself by playing it again and dreaming of the next collection of tunes.

Anna Creech - Eric Olsen

"Foxy Digitals"

Edinburgh singer/songwriter Duncan made her name as a classically trained doublebassist, but decided to take a left turn into the folk world and share her delicate, teary-eyed and intimately whistful tunes with us, and the results suggest she may have an exciting career ahead should she choose to continue in this vein (and early indications are that she will, as she is currently home in Scotland working on her sophomore effort). Like other contemporary folkies, Marissa Nadler, Charlotte Greig and Sharron Kraus, Duncan possesses an angelic, soaring soprano and her debut offers heartwarming originals in the style of Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell. The sparse backing (acoustic guitar on “Wonderful Friend,” a lilting, lonely piano on “You See (Right In)”) accompanies her double-tracked voice througout many tracks. The so-quiet-you-can-hear-a-pindrop performance on the latter opens with some mumbled chanting, as if Duncan was conversing with herself or meditating out loud, over her gently plucked guitar, and you can almost feel her pain draining out of her heart and soul.

“Stars” brings a band into the studio with Duncan and, thankfully, they’re sedate and unobtrusive enough not to distract from the intimate tale of woe. The song’s coda features a whistling synth flourish that actually compliments the mournful tone. This is beautiful, warm, sorrowful music for broken-hearted lovers in the throes of late-night (self)pity parties. Light the candles and incense and don’t forget to pack a couple of extra boxes of tissues. 8/10 - Foxy Digitals

"The Red Alert"

Listening to Amy Duncan’s Pilgrimage is like taking a spiritual journey through nature. Her ethereal vocals and melodies evoke images of bright colored flowers and serene lakes at dusk. Duncan has an incredible vocal range from deep low tones to high soprano notes that are sung in a beautiful round head voice. The simple accompaniments of her music consist of light guitar picks or piano chords. This simplicity really gives her gorgeous vocals a chance to be noticed.

In the third track, “Walk Away,” Duncan sings in an operatic tone during certain phrases, and then switches to her chest voice for other moments. Her voice is versatile, although some may consider it inconsistent to sing so many different styles in one song. The theme of this song is that if you are true to yourself, everything will come out alright. With that said, Duncan is certainly following her own advice and allowing her musical expression to flow freely and honestly. Therefore, one cannot fault her for some inconsistencies in tone; rather, it is a refreshing sound.

“Stars” and “Pilgrimage” are two tracks on this album that reflect on the blissfulness of nature. Both of these songs are similar in production to Kate Bush’s new album Aerial, which is also a treatise of nature. “The only sound” consists of high ranged vocals with dissonant harmonies, showing a tinge of an Emily Bezar influence. Duncan writes “all the skies are empty and the only sound is your heartbeat.” The image of empty skies is sung softly on a sweet melody. This track can elicit an emptiness of thoughts, making it the perfect lullaby to induce sleepiness before bed. In fact, the whole album is a great way to unwind and submerge into a tranquil state before falling asleep.

— Janelle Finamore - The Red Alert

"Miles of Music"

Richie Unterberger from All Music Guide raves "On Pilgrimage, singer-songwriter Amy Duncan will likely recall early Joni Mitchell to many listeners with her stirring, wide-ranging vocals that favor the pristine upper register; stark guitar-and-piano-dominated arrangements; and melodic, haunting compositions. If anything, the tone might be even more somber than the most somber of the songs on Mitchell`s debut album Song to a Seagull (the Mitchell record this most strongly resembles), which is saying something. Acknowledging that this isn`t the newest of territories to explore, it`s a pretty well-done and pleasing effort in this particular singer-songwriting style. . . " (Plain Recordings)
- Miles of Music

"Erasing Clouds Music"

Amy Duncan's Pilgrimage is on the surface a conventional singer/songwriter album – voice-and-guitar or voice-and-piano music, very much in the mold of Joni Mitchell, whose voice and songs Duncan most often brings to mind. It opens with a tribute to a "Wonderful Friend", and includes a song called "Unconditional Love": very conventional. At the same time, when you're listening to it, it doesn't feel nearly as conventional as it should. Right from the start the album grasps you with its presence. There's two reasons for this, I think. One is her voice, which isn't just strong, but used in a varied way – to be quiet, and then to grab at you. The other, probably more important one is the amount of space left in the music, how minimalist it is. It's often just her voice and an instrument or maybe two, and even what the instruments are playing is sparse, stretched out. This keeps ample room for mystery, for fascination, for wonder…within songs that otherwise might be too ordinary to feel strongly about. – dave heaton - Erasing Clouds Music


My debut album 'Pilgrimage' was released in US in November 2006.

My 2nd album 'Story Of A Girl' has been released independently, in 2007.

I am currently working on my 3rd album.



I'm a singer/songwriter/producer and multi-instrumentalist living in Edinburgh.
My style has been folk/acoustic, with sparse arrangements of piano, guitar and doublebass, until a recent turning into a more electronic/folk influenced sound.

Please contact me for a CV or any more information.

Look forward to hearing from you!

My live sound is also developing, to reflect this change. The use of a loop station enables me to record loops with my double bass and then sing and create harmonies, together with Nik Paget Tomlinson on live drums and moog. A very exciting project which I’m very much enjoying. We are still working out a set, meanwhile I am gigging regularly, accompanying myself on piano and guitar.