By Robbie Nevel
Music is a great vehicle for optimism, and Amy Kress is an apt navigator. Not only is this Colorado-based singer/songwriter skilled at writing uplifting, catchy pop songs. Not only are her lyrics relatable and positive. But on top of all this musical cred is the weight of her personal story: Kress has fought a long battle with breast cancer that is not over yet.
The music on her highly anticipated debut full-length, Secret Music, is not only an artistic expression. It’s a life expression.
It’s the sound of hope. The mother, wife and survivor, has claimed that the album served as a therapeutic healing tool and at first it was an a more private pursuit – hence the title. She explained, “Many friends didn’t even know I was recording or if they did it was just thought of as a quirky hobby of mine.”
Her “quirky hobby” resulted in a project that’s been gaining steam in Denver, lighting her lyrical path throughout the city with several standout performances.
Kress has shared her struggles elsewhere, notably on blogs from her own site and Caringbridge.org (a support network for people afflicted with cancer). What her writing puts across is creatively amplified and universalized when she sings. The message cuts through sharply because of her physical voice. Full bodied and authoritative, Kress’ vocals on Secret Music sets the tone for the whole album which is otherwise musically diverse. There’s something for everyone, but her identity and willpower shine through, keeping good continuity.
Examples of this diversity can be seen in all of Secret Music‘s 14 tracks. The latest single, “Numb,” is a head-bobbing, fast paced anthem laced with infectious strings and a huge hook. Fan favorite “The Way I Want You” touches on the essence of soul music. Her earlier release “The Crush” has a far more serious, slower paced feel. However, through it all Kress’ vocal and songwriting style is telling. Just a few notes and there’s no doubt who made this profound music.
The future is bright for Amy Kress, with work underway on a follow-up to Secret Music in addition to upcoming live performances.