Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters carry us back to the days when you could buy 45s at the local dime store or record store, releasing a series of paired singles—and A-side and a B-side—throughout this year that comprise their album The Devil/The Deep Blue Sea. Calling the project a “deconstructed album,” Platt and the band plan to release a monthly series of paired singles that that comprise the songs written and recorded in a year of pandemic and quarantine. Platt points out that the project’s title reflects the depths of human struggle between the rowdy, rebellious, and hedonistic and the quiet, contemplative, and ascetic. As she explains, “I’ve always liked that saying. For me, the two groupings of songs represent different sides of the creative process, with The Devil including the more manic, upbeat, outgoing — maybe even grotesque at times — and The Deep Blue Sea being more reclusive, contemplative, understated. As an artist I’ve spent a long time judging myself when I’m at either extreme, so it’s nice to have an opportunity to celebrate the balance they provide one another. As a good friend of mine put it, ‘Sometimes you’re drowning in The Deep Blue Sea and you need The Devil to pull you out.’”
The first singles illustrate the duality that Platt describes. “New York” rides in on Matt Smith’s guitar downstrums and Evan Martin’s striding electric piano, with echoes of the intro to Humble Pie’s “You’re So Good for Me,” that cantor into a good-time song that induces a desire to get up and dance to the music. It’s a perfect A-side, with its shimmering, bright tones, and Platt’s dulcet vocals calling us back to a time when we have to leave the place we love. “‘New York’ is a song I wrote when my parents were selling the house that I grew up in,” Platt recalls. “I hadn’t lived there for a long time at that point, but it came at a time when I was saying goodbye to a lot of people and places that had meant home and comfort to me, and it just felt like kind of a final break from something I had been. This makes sense to me as the first ‘A side’ for just that reason- goodbyes sometimes make the best beginnings. We’re not in Kansas anymore… or New York.”
The languorous and wistful “Open Up Your Door,” the B-side, opens sparely with Platt’s vocals floating over Martin’s soulful electric piano. The aching notes of Smith’s steel guitar weave over and around Martin’s piano and lay down a bed of exquisite splendor on which Platt can lay her mournful vocals. Echoing the delicate and exquisite splendor of Jackson Browne’s first album, this song moves between grief over loss—the loss of the ability to hit the open road to perform, the loss of opportunities to create together, the loss of the will to write and create, even—and hope. As Platt reflects, “‘Open Up Your Door’ in title alone would have been a good kicker for the B side. It’s a call to the muse — don’t forsake me, I’m still here and I have all this shit to make sense of.”
With Platt’s usual lyrical brilliance, “New York” and “Open Up Your Door” evoke the depths of our human nature, capturing melodically the soaring heights to which our happiness can carry us and the melancholy lows into which our sadness can plummet us.
“New York” and “Open Up Your Door” are available for pre-order/pre-save now – HERE.