“This One Thing On Bandcamp” is a weekly feature that digs deep into the archive of music available on Bandcamp.com to find indie artists worthy of your attention.
On the title track of her latest album, Arrow, singer/songwriter Amy Oelsner sings “Arrow straight to the heart/You are a perfect shot”. In the song, it represents the sudden strike of love for the main character. For listeners, it’s the perfect way to describe Oelsner’s sharp, emotional songwriting that will hit you right through the heart.
Based in Bloomington, Indiana, Oelsner (who goes by Amy O) crafts guitar pop that captures microcosms of life with a certain Midwestern charm. Her subjects vary from song to song, including abandoned malls, elementary school crushes and camping trips (and that’s just the first three songs). While the topics seem unremarkable, Oelsner revels in the typical.
On “Gold Coin” she describes the view of a cold winter’s day; “Half asleep looking out at the snow/It’s my turn to shovel though/I like the way the static surrounds me”. For Oelsner it’s an opportunity to explore the extraordinary experience of living an ordinary life. Her lyrics are paired with her equally excellent musicianship that complements every syllable. The music certainly fits into the tidy categorization of “indie-pop”, but it hardly serves as an apt description. The creepy melodies on “Bedfellow” and Southern-flavored slide guitar on “Honeysuckle” show her willingness to try out new musical modes.
Oelsner winds around typical pop structure with multiple key changes and shifts in tempo while still keeping her music easily accessible and listenable. She stretches the limits of genre, keeping the music fresh and exciting. Arrow features Oelsner with a full band and is a perfect intro to her words and music. Those looking for a more stripped down sound from Amy O should look to 2014’s My Hand The Thief and her Songs From… series.