Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer “Killed”

 

 

Mind those sensationalist
headlines, kids, you just might get duped!

By Blurt Staff

 

Amanda Palmer, vocalist, keyboardist and
songwriter for her band The Dresden
Dolls is set to drop her first solo album on Sept. 16 via Roadrunner. Here’s
the scoop from the label. Hey, they write this stuff better than we do, so why
rewrite perfectly good promotional hype!

 

***

 

Whether participating in theater projects both in America and
abroad, or simply helping to run the fan-generated merch company the Dolls
started called Post-War Trade, Amanda
Palmer
is a woman whose artistic endeavors have no boundaries. 
This September, these undertakings come together with the release of Amanda’s incredible solo debut,
entitled Who Killed Amanda Palmer,
on Roadrunner Records.

 

Who
Killed Amanda Palmer
began as a minimal affair:  with songs amassing that did not seem to
require drums, Amanda decided to
record a solo album for piano and voice, made in her bedroom, finished in a
week.   And then, as if the universe turned to her and said,
“not so fast…,” Amanda happened to meet Ben Folds in
Australia, bonded over mutual loves and suddenly, the record was moved out of
the bedroom and into Folds’ Nashville-based, piano-filled recording studio.  With Ben Folds acting as producer, the
songs on Who Killed Amanda Palmer (a name initially meant as a Twin Peaks reference that has since come to take
on new meanings for Amanda),
began to come alive, resulting in what is some of the best recorded work of her
multi-faceted career.

 

Mixing the magical and the macabre, the mundane and the
sentimental, Who Killed Amanda
Palmer
is a musical tour de force, the culmination of nearly ten
years’ worth of songwriting.  Some songs on the album pop and twist with
the intensity of their own subject matter – Amanda has never been one to shy away from the taboo – while
others are soft and intimate, revealing sides of Amanda not usually seen within her work in The Dresden
Dolls.  Featuring guest turns from the likes of The Dead Kennedys’ East Bay Ray (on “Guitar Hero”), St.
Vincent’s Annie Clark
(on a warped take on Carousel’s “What’s the Use of Wondrin”),
cellist Zoe Keating, and string
arrangements by master composer Paul
Buckmaster
, Who Killed Amanda
Palmer
gives Amanda’s incredible compositions new color via expansive instrumentation and glorious
arrangements. 

 

Opener “Astronaut” starts the album with a divine blast of driving strings, cymbal crashes and the
piano pounding for which Amanda is known, while “Runs in the
Family,”
one of the oldest of the songs on the album, runs wild out
of the speakers, Amanda’s vocals
so passionate she seems barely unable to catch her breath.  First single “Leeds United,” recorded in Scotland on a
whim, is a pop masterpiece, Amanda’s voice raspy and raw against the marching band horn stabs of the chorus.  “Strength Through Music,” written in response to the Columbine shootings and recorded around the time of
the Virginia Tech shootings, is anchored by two moving piano chords and a palpable
sense of loneliness, while the sinister organ of “Guitar Hero” takes on video game fanaticism, machismo
and alienation with a sarcastic  sneer.  Closing track “Another Year” finishes the
album with a string-filled melody and Amanda’s voice sounding more worn and lost than ever before as she details the passing
of time and her own place in the world.

 

Who Killed Amanda Palmer features liner notes written by
celebrated graphic novelist Neil Gaiman,
with whom Amanda will be
collaborating on a photography book in tandem with the album’s
release.    Amanda will be embarking on a tour in support of the album this fall; in the meantime,
she is playing a once-in-a-lifetime show with The Boston Pops Orchestra in her hometown of Boston tonight, June 20th, at Symphony Hall.

 

Track Listing:

1.       Astronaut

2.      Runs in the Family

3.      Ampersand

4.      Leeds United

5.      Blake Says

6.      Strength Through
Music

7.      Guitar Hero

8.      Have to Drive

9.      What’s the Use of
Wondrin

10.  Melissa Mahoney

11.   The Point of It All

12.   Another Year

 

[Photo Credit: Chris Crisman]

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