Editorial – Amber Waves; Photography – Amber Waves; J.J. Deogracias
Confession: I have a special place in my heart for Australian music.
It may be partially due to the warmth of the varying accents from each region (British roots of mine meant growing up with a somewhat similar vibe, so there’s a sense of almost-home about it). More than that, I feel that Aussies have this incredible ability to bare all through their songcraft. There’s far less pretense and posturing in the mix. Amanda Merdzan is no exception.
Perfectly suited to an intimate venue like The Central, with its tiny stage nestled at the front of a narrow room, Amanda took the stage with nothing more than a guitar, a few anecdotes and a powerful voice nestled inside an unassuming package. Running through a collection of songs primarily selected from her latest release, The Map Has Been Redrawn, Amanda impressed with her ability to render a club into a confessional. It almost felt invasive to take in her tales of love, hopes and fears — akin to a stolen diary unfurling before you. And yet, Amanda bared all without hesitation.
The ability to relate, to empathize with her shared melodic moments made Merdzan easily one of the more memorable acts of the festival. The intricasy of her songwriting also set her apart, as each song found its own unique character upon the plucked strings. Wise beyond her years, Amanda captures what it is to be young in an age where despite our many ways to connect, we are perhaps more isolated than ever.
At least we have music like hers to bring us together.