Beautifully uplifting and deeply personal, Amy Speace has made the most revealing album of her career with There Used to Be Horses Here. Recorded in Nashville in just four days, the award-winning songwriter pulls directly from her own childhood memories, coming of age in New York City, and losing a parent while learning to become one.
In its most powerful moments, the album sets Speace’s majestic voice to symphonic arrangements, yet her songwriting remains intimate and emotional. As a fan and friend of the Nashville band The Orphan Brigade, she invited its three members to collaborate as songwriters and co-producers, inspired by their persistent rhythms and sweeping sonic palette. Remembering her vocal sessions, she says simply, “While I was singing over what those guys were playing, it made me feel like I was flying.”
While many of the subjects are heavy, There Used to Be Horses Here isn’t a sad record. Instead it’s a direct reflection of the 12 months between her son’s first birthday and the loss of her dad, propelled by a playwright’s eye for detail and a performer’s gift of vocal delivery.
“I wanted these lyrics to be honest. I got tired of circling around a subject, so I decided that I’m just going to write exactly what I feel,” she says. “It’s funny to me that the best songs I have written have been since my son was born, when I thought I was going to lose all creative powers to mothering – and it didn’t happen. It kicked it into high gear and made me think, ‘I may not have much time left on the planet. Maybe I should just get to the point.’”
Label: Proper Records
Catalogue Number: PRPCD159 (CD)
Release Date: 30 April 2021