by Noah Cain
“Enough as it Was,” the title track off Amos the Kid’s forthcoming album, moves with the energy of the Bloodvein River in spring. Like an outburst of rage, it is short, cutting, and inevitable.
Anger has always run deep within Amos the Kid’s catalogue. Even his sweet songs have an edge to them, a defiance, a recognition that besides love it’s all bullshit. This current of anger can be hard to perceive from the surface, but you can feel its force when you’re immersed in the music, attuned to it through some alchemy of setting and mood. I’ve felt it along fields patterned with haybales and their long shadows. I’ve felt it in the flat gray light of the Nesteweya river trail at night. Maybe you’ve felt it too.
While this anger has previously swelled to surface to be expressed directly, as in “Island of Troubles” and “I Don’t Really Know Why,” among others, lead singer and songwriter Amos Nadlersmith communicates it with new intensity and precision on “Enough as it Was.”
On this track, he gives us The Kid at his breaking point: stuck in small talk hell at a party or show having recently received the type of news that makes it clear what matters and what doesn’t. As he runs the gauntlet of mundanity, his mask loosens and he begins responding to the gladhanding with darker and darker non-sequiturs, as if testing the limits of these blowhards’ commitment to the social script: “Hey man how’s your health? / I think I’m going to hell.”
Eventually it becomes too much. “I’m confuuuuuused,” The Kid bellows before the floodgates open and the music breaks down and the language devolves into mocking gibberish. His voice swells as he screams the type of questions that broke him: imitation as condemnation, the rage registering at a level beneath language or image, resonating through the body, terrifying and holy.
“Enough as it Was” is Amos the Kid’s first mic-drop moment. The album of the same name comes out May 5 via House of Wonders. On May 6 he celebrates the release alongside Tired Cossack at the West End Cultural Centre. Let’s rage.
FULL DISCLOSURE – I am not approaching this work from a neutral position. I am friends with Amos and co-wrote a couple of the songs on his forthcoming album. While this certainly influences my takes on his music, I don’t believe it invalidates them. I love giving my interpretations of his music and hope you enjoy reading them!