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By: Alyssa Rashbaum

Amestory took three years to write the music for their debut album, which isn’t such a long time considering it was spent building a bridge between indie rock, emo, melodic pop, and chamber music. The brainchild of California-based artists Mike Russell (vocals, guitar) of Respira, and Doug Prior (piano), Amestory — which also includes J.D. Knotts (drums, slide) and Derek Coburn (bass) — now seamlessly leaps between meticulously-constructed haunting orchestral sounds and minimalist rock. With alternately somber and dubiously optimistic lyrics layered over evocative instrumentals, Amestory’s self-titled debut begs to be listened to while contemplating that failed relationship as the rain pounds on your window.

Amestory was recorded over a six-month period in Russell’s home studio, which the band’s bio refers to as a “dark, blue room.” Over the course of their debut, Amestory seems alternately content with residing in those somber confines, and bent on breaking out, as songs often begin with a lone melancholy vocal or beat, before suddenly erupting and soaring at the chorus, and being reigned just as quickly in for another minimalist verse. “They’re Telling You You Have Been Alive” touches on all of Amestory’s personalities, opening with a lingering piano line, propped up by a slow-stomping beat. A pleading violin is introduced, followed by a lone bass line and an a cappella verse: “And you said you were sick but that’s all in your head, it must be your mom or that rickety bed.”

But even in their most somber moments, Amestory reign in any potential self-pity, with the occasional jaunty piano interlude or a reminder to keep your chin up: “Tape up those fists / There is nothing left to lose but your inner child who is upset with you / Knowing is just like standing still.”

Amestory are currently touring behind their debut:

10/5, Bellingham, WA (The Coat Exchange) 10/7, Provo, UT (Starry Nights)10/8, Omaha, NE (Caffeine Dreams)10/11, Pittsburgh, PA (Point Park University)10/12, Bronxville, NY (Sarah Lawrence College)10/13, Washington DC (Caf� Mawonaj)10/15, Gloucester, MA (Gloucester Artspace)10/16, Washington, DC (The Warehouse Next Door)10/19, Springfield, MO (The Burgandy Room)10/23, San Antonio, TX (The Sanctuary)10/25, Santa Fe, NM (The Halfrack)

Amestory official site