Amelia Meath & Blake Mills / Sam Gendel - Neon Blue (Digital)
“Neon Blue” is a nighttime song. It’s a song you hear when you roll into a small town that just feels depressed -- not financially, but in spirit. It’s about that evening moment where the neon signage buzzes on and the strange, effervescent quality that hangs in the air when nighttime comes -- and how that energy can just make a place change. It’s “Neon Blue,” as in the bar lights, but also like the light inside of the living room where you watch TV in the dark alone.
“Neon Blue” is the first collaboration between Amelia Meath (Sylvan Esso, Mountain Man) and guitarist/producer Blake Mills, two longtime mutual admirers. Meath wrote the lyrics and melody for “Neon Blue” in one go, on the plane from Durham to Los Angeles; the pair subsequently recorded in one session at Sound City in LA. Then it bloomed into something more exploratory, with Mills and Meath re-opening the song and prodding at it every few months until they finished it.
In both forms, “Neon Blue” unfolds quietly and strangely, like the way a certain scent or lighting hitting your face can conjure the outline of a memory that hovers just out of frame. Mills’ signature fretless baritone guitar and a few sparse embellishments build the song’s foundation, a chasm between instrumentation and Meath’s delicate voice. Here, spaciousness acts as an additional instrument. Mills and Meath set out to steer clear of anything terrestrial, even with a song so rooted in place.
On side B, multi-instrumentalist Sam Gendel also offers his own interpretation of the same song. He was a natural first choice for Mills and Meath to do his own version, given his ability to fluidly reinterpret things. The ebb-and-flow of is instrumental version warps the existing melody, making it a companion piece that could as easily live fully on its own, but still makes sense in conversation with side A. In both forms, “Neon Blue” looms alien and otherworldly, conjuring an enveloping luminescence through sound alone.
Release Date: 08/04/2021
Record Label: Psychic Hotline
Neon Blue - Amelia Meath & Blake Mills
Neon Blue - Sam Gendel
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