The Wright siblings have been making music independent of one another until early 2018. Amanda has lived abroad in Barcelona for the last 20 years, making music under the name Amanda Jayne as well as more recently teaching English and Spanish, while her brother Benjamin has been living in the States practicing as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in southern Vermont.
Amanda has a background in musical performance and songwriting, primarily piano earlier on and then the accordion when she was playing throughout Europe in multiple bands. She is an established songwriter, having already created multiple albums in the past two decades while working with the record label WhatAboutMusic.
Benjamin also has a background in performance and songwriting, with guitar as his principal instrument. He studied film scoring and jazz performance at Berklee College of Music and played in multiple bands over the last two decades. He also worked as a multi-instrumentalist for hire, playing professionally in Los Angeles for a few years before changing fields from music to Psychiatry.
Their collaboration came as a result of feeling disconnected from one another. They decided to collaborate on music as a means of reconnecting and maintaining their connection. What was a simple musical conversation gained momentum and passion and they decided to release their accumulated work. Their debut, HI-LO, was released in the summer of 2019 and garnered some high critical acclaim.
Following the excitement they felt working on HI-LO, they decided to continue on and make more music, and their new album Theater (due out via WhatAboutMusic on May 7th) is the result. Benjamin predominates on the new album as Amanda had transitioned careers and was not able to spend as much time writing or recording but was still an integral voice in some decisions and performances and contributed the song “Shake the Vaults” and wrote the lyrics to “Running Around.”
Today Glide is excited to premiere the new album ahead of its official release on Friday. Taking a more rock-driven approach than their debut release, the group still manages to maintain a good deal of folk/singer-songwriter stylings. Where things get interesting is in the way they incorporate electronic elements to give the album an intriguing and hypnotic psychedelic-folk sound. There is a darkness to the songs that may have been inspired by the entirety of the year 2020 and everything that came with it, but there is also something cathartic as the group navigates themes of anger, frustration, disbelief, depression, and anxiety, with reminders of youth, an innocence, joy, and hopefulness. Ultimately, there is a hushed and dreamy coolness to these songs as well as an element of experimentalism that gives you the sense these musicians were pushing their own creative boundaries to craft a sound that feels entirely new.
Benjamin Wright of Benjamin Jayne describes the inspiration behind the song:
“Theater resulted from an inescapable visceral reaction to all of the chaos of 2020 and is an effectual exploration of the emotions arising from all of it. It is a dynamic collection of songs and emotions that at times is reminiscent of Beck, at others Zero 7 or Jose Gonzalez.”
Photo credit: Jen Wright