Amy Oelsner’s homemade pop songs sparkle with these eternal truths: that story-telling is part of being alive, and excavating the past is part of growth.
Oelsner, who records as Amy O, is a lifer of the indie-pop underground for whom songwriting is a way of processing the passing of time. Her latest, Shell, brims with poetic granular details of everyday life; it’s her third studio album, and tenth including her many years of home recordings.
Following 2017’s Elastic, Oelsner continues living up to that album’s namesake: Shell similarly stretches with melodies upon melodies. But here there is greater use of space and pace and patience. Perfectly minimal riffs slowly build, ebb, erupt and recoil; guitars and keys layer and swell; there are moments of steady piano-pop, intricate drums and pristine criss-crossing vocal melodies.
In addition to her work as a musician, Oelsner is also an educator and arts organizer, who has lived all over the country and taught zine writing to teenagers for years. More recently, she’s been teaching songwriting at a local community college and launching Girls Rock Bloomington, a music camp for girls, trans and non-binary youth. Amy O's newest album Shell is out October 25th via Winspear.