US - California - Full Moon 235 - 10/27/15
Hidden Shoal Recordings
A woman my age? AWMA - short for 'A Woman My Age' - is the new trio from the ex-members of the long since defunct band Half Film (1997 to 2001). Conor
Devlin (vocals, guitar), Eimer Devlin (bass) and Jason Lakis (drums) made up Half Film, and they have now reunited as AWMA. Some years back, the Devlins turned into [the]
caseworker (along with drummer Will Waghorn on drums) while Jason continued with his (alt-country/Americana) band The Red Thread (2002-2007) and further with his "solo project", Mist and
Mast. With his solo project still running, he has teamed up with his old band mates. Like they state: 'this is our new band. Same line-up, but a bit
older and a bit wiser.'
This is for sure some international project: siblings (?) Conor and Eimer are from Ireland, but Half Film was a San Francisco-based band. Jason and Eimer still lives in SF's
Bay Area, while Conor has relocated in Switzerland. And their music, then? Where do they go? AWMA is about semi slow-core, of the dream pop kind. Or, 'atmospheric rock' as the band tag their
music. In fact, not that far from the path of Half Film. The AWMA threesome gathered last year, and started to work on new songs. Their first recordings took place earlier this year,
and this EP is the first taster from the band (an album is said to follow next year).
"Broadcast History" was launched as the first single from this EP, but "At the State Palace" opens this four-song EP. I think the opener sounds a bit... unsure. I don't know for sure, maybe
I am all wrong. "Broadcast History" is tenser, more tiptoe, but it is also a laid-back song. That said, there is a certain edge to it. According to their Label, they present
'melodically charged music, akin to the early pastoral side of Pink Floyd, exudes intensity and emotional resonance'. Meaning 'old-school' rock?
You shouldn't take the Pink Floyd (PF) reference too seriously, as AWMA is a far more 'modern' sounding rock band than the old 70s (ex 60s psych pop pioneer) and 80s (plus 90s, 00s and
on...) monumental rock flagship PF were/are. I sense that, even though AWMA's facade is calm and slow, they relate more to a band like, say Viet Cong than the aforementioned PF. Well, a less
'explosive' Viet Cong, that is. When hearing AWMA I am a bit tiptoe-tense, waiting for their songs to... if not to 'explode' so at least to 'take off' - to make some more noise. The songs
sounds like they are 'calm before the storm.' I might be very wrong here. And when listening through this EP, I think (I realise) I'm all wrong. Yet, I am fascinated by the mood (and the controlled/tamed
intensity) of AWMA's music and I am still awaiting some more explosive songs. Until then, "Broadcast History" stands out as the coolest of these four songs. I guess that I will keep on checking
out AWMA next year as well.
Copyright © 2015 Håvard Oppøyen