Thanks to Twitter, Bandcamp, and Rdio (RIP), this year I found myself randomly becoming a fan of Philadelphia’s indie rock scene from afar. After liking a couple Philly bands, I began to connect the dots and find other bands they played with or recommended, and eventually had pretty much fully gone down a rabbit hole and adopted Philly as my local music scene of choice.
One of the bands I discovered this way was Amanda X, a trio of Cat Park, Kat Bean, and Tiff Yoon. Hundreds and Thousands is actually a two song 7-inch they released this year, but I listened to the two songs enough that I felt it was worth charting. “Quilted” and “Juniper” are both about six minutes long and take their time winding through distinct segments that cover a range of styles and moods, with a focus on vocal harmonies and noisy guitar. In this way, Amanda X’s freewheeling approach reminds me a bit of super-geniuses Afrirampo, in that there is an expression of freedom in these unpredictable songs that makes them stand out from a lot of more overly crafted rock that feels like it’s painting by the numbers.
The members of Amanda X show impressive versatility, seamlessly changing modes in mid-song while still making each of them feel cohesive. While only two songs and 12 minutes, Hundreds and Thousands has more replay value than most of the full lengths I listened to this year.