May 11, 2018
Amanda Brown Releases Debut Album ‘Dirty Water’
Powerhouse vocalist confronts complex human emotions
NEW YORK — May 11, 2018 — Amanda Brown has built her career on taking risks that provoke intense reactions. Her new album, Dirty Water, brims with a distinct confidence, the kind only earned by choosing personal truth over people pleasing. Out today, the album meditates on the complexity of life’s ups and downs, as told by Brown’s unmistakable vocals — capable of both awe-inspiring power and delicate nuances.
All the songs on Dirty Water overflow with courage and hard-won virtuosity. Brown meditates on heavy emotions throughout the album, an intent to talk about the sadness people feel in hopes the songs she’s written to get her through tough times can help others, too. Many began as a way for Brown to figure things out in her own life, as she dealt with complex emotions while chasing her dreams. A respected backing vocalist, she’s toured the world with Adele, Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys, The Killers and many more. With Dirty Water, she’s taken what she’s learned through years of studying the craft of song and created a collection that’s bursting with both swagger and tenderness. It’s a triumphant mix of Brown’s risk-taking, pop-savvy, finely honed rock-alternative sound.
Brown wrote or co-wrote every song on Dirty Water with just two other collaborators: singer-songwriters Greg Tannen and Colin Smith. The first single “Believers” showcases her powerhouse vocals and a new message of hope for the disenfranchised, the marginalized, the economically and socially abused. Big Takeover premiered the song, which Afropunk later noted “is a heartfelt self-love and acceptance anthem.” Impose called the song “a hard rocking & high atmospheric hymn dedicated to the mobilization of the marginalized, with an aura of hope & unlimited joy.” PopMatters premiered her second single “No Good,” saying “…she’s a throwback to an earlier type of singer-songwriter and, in that way too, she may be at the forefront of a new generation that recognizes that sincerity, honesty and even simplicity in song can help connect with an audience more than trickery and overstatement ever could.”
Moody love song “So Right” is tinged with that self-aware melancholy Brown keeps in the back of her mind, reminding her that good things may not always last forever. She wrote “Glutton for Punishment” alone; the song soars thanks to a surprising combination of Brown’s soul laid bare and bold vocal effects. Album standout “Dirty Water” capitalizes on what Brown does best: vocals that move seamlessly between awe-inspiring roars and haunting nuances. Written while on tour with Adele, Brown was in the middle of an incredible tour with a massive artist who treated her very well, but she still found herself feeling sad. The song is intimate and quiet –– a stark window into the overwhelming but mysterious anguish we all have but don’t often discuss.
Brown attended New York City’s LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts and hit the road as a backing vocalist for some of the biggest voices in music: Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, CeeLo Green, Lenny Kravitz, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Rowland, Gwen Stefani, and more. She spent much of 2017 singing background vocals on Adele’s world tour, before going out with The Killers to open shows with her own material. Many fans first heard her complex soprano on season three of NBC’s The Voice.
Thoughtful and subversive, Brown has a way of taking the familiar and recasting it to deliver an original, more robust understanding. Weaved throughout Dirty Water, listeners are reminded that songs can carry our burdens so that while we never forget, we’re not immobilized by the weight of our experiences.