"Each song is directed like a film that jumps off the wide screen to capture its audience. She has the ability to write songs that vividly paint descriptive characters and plots, rich in literary detail and poetic imagery" - Performing Songwriter
About Like An Engine
"The Like an Engine CD is a masterpiece. The songs convey a sense of musical grandeur honed to perfection with a razor-sharp edginess... One can easily imagine viewing the tales of these tunes through a film director's editing machine. ” - Jim Guyette, WRUW-FM, 91.1, Cleveland
"In the wistful tradition of Ricki Lee Jones, Singer-Songwriter Amilia can seduce your eardrums in thirty seconds max. " - Listen.com
"A formidable singer, songwriter and pianist.. With a voice that ranges from soaring to smoky, a keen observational lyricism and an innate talent for accessible melodies, this gifted young artist seems destined to gain wider acclaim" - Flint Journal
Her voice is often described as haunting and ethereal, but it's the writing that really separates Amilia from the rest of the new generation of literary songwriters. Likened by one critic to a French chanteuse in a candle-lit cafe, her songs set a mood. They are intimate and visual, like walking into a movie. It's some kind of strange potion, but one that's perfect for that midnight ride with the windows down. There is an edge, a turbulence, in many of the places Amilia writes about, but not all of them. Her songwriting fuses together the different places she calls home- the languid textures of rural Pennsylvania, the swing and melody of Texas Americana, with the back alley bite of LA.
That dichotomy of light and dark, small-town wonder with Los Angeles bite, is the map running
over the melodies here, with a twist of mystical melancholy in the storytelling.
Given the cinematic quality of her music, it makes sense that Spicer's songs can be heard in several movies. Equally at home from the cozy confines of Hollywood's Hotel Cafe, to the Kennedy Center in DC, Spicer's defiant poetry never gets lost in the mix.
Part Beethoven. Part Bohemian.
Like an Engine, Spicer's debut album (1999), is an eclectic, powerful mix of sensual, husky phrases. The production is sparse, with an undertow in the open space. Not exactly a folk record, it nonetheless created a great deal of excitement in the songwriting community, as Sing Out! Magazine raved, "Startlingly good". It won several awards, was heard in four feature films, and most importantly, gave her room to defy categorization.
"The Like an Engine CD is a masterpiece. The songs convey a sense of musical
grandeur honed to perfection with a razor-sharp edginess... One can easily imagine
viewing the tales of these tunes through a film director's editing machine. "
-Jim Guyette WRUW-FM/91.1, Cleveland
Her much anticipated follow-up recording, SEAMLESS (2003), is more like a wave crashing to shore--it hits you immediately as something you'd both want to hear on the radio, and play while sipping wine by the fire. Her LA-based band is more present, the production tighter, and special guests such as Jinsoo Lim (Macy Gray) add texture and depth throughout. But that doesn't mean her haunting etherealness gets lost in the tracks. At the root of all the raucousness and wistfulness is Spicer and her piano.
"Seamless, like Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge over Troubled Water,
sucks you in and doesn't let go until the last note" - Flint Journal
Though Amilia might be best known for her more poetic works, her live shows are really where she shines - you get to see all the layers coexisting there on the stage. There, after the cerebral lyrics and deep chasms left by the last, barely audible line, she invites the band up and reveals a quirky, light-hearted humor, either by her homespun stories or her left-of-center ditties. Case in point - her ode to Jo Jo - the philosophical traitor who tries to crash the local Elks club meeting by gluing antlers on his head. As the audience joins to sing "hi ho for Jo Jo", you get the idea that Amilia's take on the world is indeed original. Running her indie record label from a small Hollywood apartment, Spicer lives by the mantra "Don't Fence Me In". From whisper to wail, there is more than a little attitude under that oft-worn base ball cap.