Every so often I stumble across an artist whose music I can’t stop thinking about—not because I love it, or hate it, but simply because I can’t decide. At this moment, it is Amy Speace who has me floundering in a haze of ambiguity. With very little effort, I can add several things to the “pro” side of my list. For instance, there’s her voice itself, which seems to me like a less smoky version of Sally Ellyson’s (Hem), and which she is able to manipulate just so to flip gracefully through her carefully crafted lyrics. And when I listen to a song like “How to Sleep in a Stormy Boat”, I think I could listen to her music all day and be content. In songs like “Sleep”, Speace doesn’t seem to be forcing anything; there is such an effortlessness to her craft, and I find the listening to be effortless as well. But then a song like “Feathers and Wishbones” plays, and it’s like that magic just evaporates. I want to love this song too, and I try, but I just…can’t. Suddenly her voice sounds mismatched with the style of music, and things just don’t click like they were seconds before, and listening has become work, and I’m right back in the ambivalent fog I started out in. I’ve not given up hope yet, but I’m afraid that until Amy Speace settles into one style of music (and lets her voice and writing style dictate which is the best fit) I may not find myself adding much of her music to my playlists. Thankfully, for every one artist I’m uncertain about, there are twenty that I can say I love or dislike without a second’s hesitation. And if there is an echelon of music above “music I love” (perhaps it’s “music I drool over”?), Imagine Dragons belongs in that elite category.
My first introduction to Imagine Dragons came in 2012 when iTunes offered “Amsterdam” as a free single.
I enjoyed the track, and began to notice their music popping up in other places as well. Over the past few months, Imagine Dragons has become my go-to soundtrack for just about anything. Bad day? Imagine Dragons will turn that frown upside down! Want to feel like you’re driving in a car commercial? Imagine Dragons has a track for that! What’s that?—You say you need to create the most epic road trip playlist ever known to the human race? Let Imagine Dragons help! They might even be able to end a zombie apocalypse. They’re just. that. amazing. Even people in the music industry are noticing that this band stands out from its peers. PLSN magazine ran an article this spring by Nook Schoenfeld, in which he described his introduction to the band’s music. Mr. Schoenfeld explained that the quality and unique sound of the music caught him off guard and made him an instant believer in the group’s potential. So much so, in fact, that he was willing to call in favors and move heaven and earth to create an epic set for their recent small scale shows (he has also been working to design Dragons’ arena tour set).
But that’s enough of my opinion. I obviously hope that everyone will be as captivated by Imagine Dragons as I am, so I’ll end today by showing you just one reason I love them, and hope it sways you in the right direction. …Nearly everyone has heard their song “It’s Time” by now, but have you heard all the many versions of it? I’m not talking about remixes here—I mean the deliciously re-imagined acoustics versions. Two of my favorites are currently available on YouTube and Vevo. (I suggest that you watch the official music video first, and then follow it up with these two.) Enjoy!