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Amanda Holley Drops Heartfelt Single

Clandestine harmonies are the main draw in surreal pop at the moment, but they’re only one of the reasons why Amanda Holley’s new single and music video “Run Away” feels like a pivotal track for the emerging subgenre. Rather than taking influence from psychedelia, Holley is embodying cerebral songcraft through a loose-fitting relationship between her words and the synthetic melody in the background, bringing to mind contemporary club beats as well as melodic trap and, most of all, vaporwave. Her vocal is the undeniable star of this show, but with a dreamy foundation, it’s all the harder for us to resist in “Run Away.”

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This is definitely a clubby rhythm, but Holley is noticeably not working the groove as much as she could have had she been trying to make this a straight dance track. Her vocal wraps around the beat neatly but affords the bassline some room to accent her singing with some bottom-end swing. She controls the verse much as she controls the tempo, and thus never sounds like she’s chasing after the percussion – if anything, these drums are living in her shadow. Hers is a magnetizing energy, and hard to steer away from once we press the play button on this song.

The music video for “Run Away” feeds into the postmodern qualities of the track itself quite brilliantly, sporting a juxtaposition of scenes that relate to the unapologetically free-spirited narrative of the lyrics. Amanda Holley herself is a fetching sight to behold, and her affection for the material and the camera in front of her translates as unadulterated confidence to the audience no matter how many times this song is played. She’s stylish but approachable, which is not the easiest balance to strike when you’re making an ambitious pop music cocktail such as this one.

I’d love to hear a little more from the bass in a potential remix of this track, which isn’t to say that this present mix isn’t an eyebrow-raising affair at all. One of the great points of interest here is the versatility of the rhythm and harmonies Holley is dishing out so effortlessly from under the spotlight, making “Run Away” feel like a bit of template as well as a complete track missing none of the attributes required to achieve mainstream success. The club element is difficult to ignore, and if broken down some, this song could satisfy a dancefloor hungry for fresh feet post-2020.

Amanda Holley has grown so much in just the last five years to have gone by since Feenin’, and in “Run Away” it’s more than obvious to me that she isn’t content living under the radar at all. Her personality is one that was made to soak up the primetime energy all elite players gravitate towards, and she shows off a tremendous star-quality performance in this single that I doubt many critics will dismiss as anything other than spot-on excellence this season. Summer was made for easy pop beats, and these are some of the sharpest I’ve heard this month.

John McCall

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