Amelia Moore has been rising steadily over the last few years as she's made the jump from Georgia to LA, found a group of trusted collaborators, and gained recognition from musical legends like Elton John. Amelia first came on to my radar while I was standing at the barricade at Fletcher's sold out Fonda Theater show last March. She held the first opening slot for Fletcher's North American run, and her bright orange bob and eclectic sound captured the audience's attention even though she was just starting to get her feet wet with touring. Amelia will play her first headline show in LA on June 9th to celebrate the recent release of her debut EP from Capitol Records, Teaching a Robot To Love.
I was lucky enough to get an invite from 1824 to attend a press conference with Amelia. Her new EP features singles "i feel everything" and "crybaby" as well as four new tracks and a voice memo that gives more insight into the atmosphere of the EP aptly titled "IFE_outro_V4_AM_24b.wa".
While Amelia did have an early start with music singing at church and playing the violin, because of her strict upbringing and homeschooling, she's only been immersed in the world of "secular" music since she became a teenager. Only just now reaching her twenties, she's uprooted herself from Lawrenceville and entirely retooled her life. She's still in the process of figuring out exactly where she wants to land in a world that's suddenly much wider.
Still, the classical training has stuck with her and she credits violin as, "what gave me such a good ear." She further explains, "I don't have perfect pitch, but I'm really good at hearing things in my head because I started playing an instrument so young." Eventually, Amelia gathered the fundamentals she'd learned about music from the violin and started teaching herself to play the keyboard with the help of YouTube tutorials. While she felt creatively restricted by the tight parameters of the violin, the piano offered a sense of "complete freedom."
Amelia has channeled that freedom into her work as she left for a short stint at Belmont to hone her songwriting craft before leaving for California. She often cites Kanye West as a musical inspiration and mentioned that she would love to one day write with a handful of songwriters that I also adore like Lorde, Charli XCX, and Julia Michaels. That list struck me as super clarifying about Amelia's musical direction because her songs do remind me of a perfect fusion of Julia's evocative, clear-eyed lyricism and Charli's robotic, electronic, and hyper-pop influenced sounds.
Another calling card that Amelia is sharpening right now within and beyond her music is her fashion choices. It's something I picked up on immediately watching her at Fletcher in her self-described "deconstructed sporty" looks. She mentions that fashion is something she's been dabbling in more recently. "I want to feel cool, and I want to look cool," she remarks simply about what guides her style. "I tend to gravitate towards a more masculine side of fashion. The majority of my closet is men's stuff anyways," she adds. Amelia wants to make a point that "clothes don't have a gender" and encourage others to express themselves through their clothes without feeling self conscious. Another major goal that seems to be emerging in this evolution is sustainability. In creating her unique looks with her stylist for the Fletcher tour, Amelia mentions that, "Everything that I wore was all made out of recycled clothing."
Fletcher's tour proved to be a huge outlet both for gaining touring experience and in ironing out the details of who Amelia Moore the artist is and how she presents herself. During the tour, Amelia knew that most people in the audience wouldn't know her music since most of her set was composed of unreleased work, but she decided that the first fan who came up to her each night at the merch booth would get a Spotify gift card from her. Having grown up without access to an infinite music library, she wanted to give someone the incredible gift of unlimited music each night.
In San Diego, she had a special moment with a fan who knew every word to her single, "sweet and sour," who was in the front row. She immediately knew that she had to give her the gift card after the show. They ended up connecting when Amelia finished her set, and she learned that the fan, Kaitlin, had also been homeschooled, and they shared a lot in common.
Those memorable connections on tour and the chance to propel her name to thousands of people a night has built up to her debut EP, Teaching a Robot to Love. The robot concept that the EP revolves around, both lyrically and sonically, came about by complete accident. The initial spark came from a Cards Against Humanity game played, against the odds, with just her friend Alex. When Alex played a card that said "teaching a robot to love," they broke out in laughter, but Amelia wrote down the idea to save for later.
With time, the phrase evolved as Amelia aimed to, "give people another word to describe their partner." Instead of calling someone emotionally unavailable, robot could be a new way to talk about someone with a few red flags. That drive came from a personal place as she used the EP to promote healing and channel her feelings after a, "break-up of a situationship with a toxic man." Though the EP came from a dark place, Amelia is also finding the light in what's to come realizing that, "New beginnings often hide themselves in endings." Though this project is only the start of her career, she mentions that it felt like a major ending for her.
As for the sound itself, the EP, produced with Pink Slip and Inverness, is "predominantly pop." She describes the soundscape as coming from a "metal sounding world" and "sonically and lyrically it is so cohesive in this robot world." While she mentioned that in the future she'd like to experiment with more live instruments and even acoustic tracks, this EP was born out of such a clear, definitive concept that Amelia and her collaborators worked to reinforce the message both in the lyrics and the production. In the future, she promises, you can expect more experimentation.
Along with that push for new sonic ground, Amelia has recently started expanding her comfort zone when writing alone. While she loves having another writer around to bounce ideas off of, she's learning the value of trusting her gut when it comes to her own ideas, which is taking her music that will follow Teaching a Robot to Love to new places. And for finding inspiration for that, Amelia is a museum frequenter. After reading about her love of mining museums for inspiration on her website, I had to ask her if there's a particular museum that fills her creative well or even inspired a song.
"The experience of going to the Getty in LA is so fire," she immediately responds. In that, she is one hundred percent correct. I had the chance to go recently, and it is breathtakingly magical to wander around. She adds that she's been meaning to visit The Broad in Downtown LA with her producer to gather inspiration for new sessions. But most of the appeal of heading out to museums alone isn't finding ideas in the paintings but from the people around her as she aimlessly wanders with earbuds in but no music playing to better facilitate people watching.
Those museum trips are part of the increasingly rare down days for Amelia as her star starts to rocket. Even though her journey feels like it's only just started from the public view, Amelia has slowly been chipping away at breaking through for years now. Along the way, she's learned quite a few things, which she throws out in perfectly prepped for poster slogans. "Perfection is not real. You're going to waste so much time trying to reach your idea of perfection. It's never going to happen," she starts. "Fail forward," she adds. Then she thinks for a second and says, "It's better to ask questions than act like you know all the answers and embarrass yourself." Finally, she settles on possibly the most important advice of all for creatives, "Only care about people's opinions that you look up to."
When asked to reflect on where her career is now, Amelia talked about the slow clim to reach this moment. "Everything that's happening right now, I've been dreaming about for years," she concludes.
If you'd like to see a bit of Amelia opening for Fletcher, I included a few clips in my Fletcher at the Fonda concert vlog on YouTube!