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Amy Macdonald
Venoge Festival, Penthalaz :

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Even when Amy Macdonald’s not visibly around, she’s busy. If her hiatus whilst recording new music made her seemingly a long way from the radio-play ubiquity she enjoyed as an award-winning teenage singer-songwriter straight out of Scotland, she’s actually performing to vast audiences at European festivals. Even when she’s meant to be taking time off, she’s being asked to represent her country at flagship events, or is scratching an ever-itchy writing urge. Macdonald might have enjoyed a decade’s success in the music industry, here, there and everywhere, but she’s still in her twenties.
Macdonald thinks back over the four years between the release of her third album, summer 2012’s Life In A Beautiful Light, and the completion of her hugely successful fourth, Under Stars. And she considers the steps that led to the making of the record that is, frankly, her most rocking yet.
“I toured the third album till end of 2013,” she begins. Another long tour it always is,” grins this dedicated live performer. People think, oh, I’ve not heard a song on the radio from you for a while, you must be sitting at home with your feet up?’”
As perhaps the biggest young female Scottish artist in the world not to mention a huge football fan Macdonald was asked to raise the curtain on two sports events that brought the planet to Scotland.

“In 2014 I was asked to perform at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. Then I was asked to sing at the opening of the Ryder Cup. It was never really quiet,” she admits.
In early 2016 Amy and her wingmen - bass player Jimmy Sims and his friend/her occasional acoustic guitarist Ben Parker - began recording in the unremarkable-but-inspiring surroundings of the Clapham studio of fellow Scot Cam Blackwood (George Ezra, Florence and the Machine).
Dream On was an early stand-out. A gung-ho, positive rocker which showcases the new power in her voice, it also speaks of the greater volume in both senses of Macdonald’s new music. From almost the minute it was written it staked its claim to be the first single from her fourth album. That feeling was underlined when she and her band road-tested it over the summer at festivals across Europe.
The second single Automatic came together when the band, thinking they’d just mess around and feel for a creative connection, struck gold on the first day of writing with the hard-driving track
As for the words Hitting the road is all that I got… Foot to the floor, I can’t take any more…” that was me just thinking about people constantly running away from problems.

Down By The Water is a horse of a different colour; simple blues that emerged seemingly out of nowhere one afternoon. It was one of those songs where, when we were writing it, we didn’t think it was up to much. It just sounded a bit too simple, pared down, not really a big extravagant song.”
But in that simplicity was majesty. In the studio with the legendary Juliet Roberts recorded amazing backing vocals, gospel-style. As soon as I heard Juliet’s vocals, I just felt that it completed this kind of lovely, downhome, swampy feeling.”
Under Stars is 29-years-young Amy Macdonald reaching in, reaching up and reaching out. Her famously rich voice is richer, more powerful still. Her renowned way with a melody is stronger, bolder, more impactful. Partnering with new collaborators has given her the power to dig even deeper. Allying herself with likeminded musical souls close to home has freed her to fly even higher.
Under Stars is available now via all usual outlets.