New EP, Rains, is out now.
Apparently, Amparo is an “Arizona girl lost wandering the woods.” She is also the writer of some of the most delicately surreal and etheral instrumental post-rock that I’ve heard in quite a while. Low-key and unassuming, the music does not aim to impress your mind but rather grab hold of your heart. This is reflective music, romantic music, tender music, delicate music. Overall, it is engrossing and emotive. My kind of mixture.
We had a sit down with Amparo, who took us through her latest EP Rain, explaining the inspirations and stories behind each track.
This song and EP came together quite unexpectedly for me due to various reasons. At the time I was in Sweden focusing a majority of my attention and energy on crafting strictly electronic music when a brief encounter with a stranger changed everything. This individual told me I should quit music, give up and grow up. Those words really affected me and I put all writing on hold until one afternoon.
I was waiting for my girlfriend to get out of work when I decided I’d record some guitar loops I had been working on. After about an hour of recording, I sat back and realized I had around 8 to 10 hooks to choose from. As a challenge, I decided to see if I could assemble an entire song before she came home from work – and with that, Ruby was created. As I sat there sifting through various hooks, I felt the strong urge to sneak in a voice memo Hanna (my girlfriend) had sent me, partially as a joke and partially as a tribute to her.
Once Ruby was completed, I let it sit on my laptop until I returned to Arizona and after some convincing from friends, I decided I should find it a label to release it on. Otherwise, I would have left it on a hard drive somewhere and probably would have returned to creating electronic-chillwave.
It starts with a reversed and pitched audio sample I took of a flight attendant from Iceland Air. Over the last two years I’ve spent a majority of my time hopping from one place to the next, and I’ve managed to capture lots of odd recordings. When I first wrote the piano and guitar hooks, it had a sense of melancholy that I had experienced the first time I left Iceland. I have a strong connection with the place and each time I leave, a little piece of me breaks away. I wanted the melodies and chords in this track to carry that sentiment of longing for someone or somewhere and the feeling of not knowing when you’d see them or it again.
It starts with a warm and hopeful tapping rhythm which then collides with some lonesome guitar chords and sparse strings. Early on into learning the guitar, I was introduced to the band Minus the Bear and I quickly fell in love with their guitar style. Everything Dave Knudsen (their lead guitarist) did, I had to replicate and learn, and a big chunk of that is hammer-ons and tapping. So despite this song having an ambient and low key sound, I wanted to include a tapping hook somewhere in the track and it felt best to have it as the opener. However, as the song carries on I decided to slowly remove the tapping and introduce a few plucked chords here and there. I wanted the ending to have a slower feel to it compared to the start, especially for the last song of the ep.
Maybe I shouldn’t give this away but as a side note, each track is named after my favourite bars in Copenhagen, Denmark. Each of those bars carries certain memories with certain friends and more importantly with Hanna. Oh and as for the name of the ep? It comes from the Danish clothing line – Rains, a personal favourite of mine.
Find Amparo on Facebook.