Her voice is mature and so is her writing. But at just fourteen, Pennsylvania-based singer Amelia Scalies is barely into her teens. In her debut album ‘I Should’ve Known’, she struts her stuff with the authority of more familiar names; the likes of Alanis Morissette and Sheryl Crow. There is a definite pop feel to the project and it tends to sail the way of your typical alt CD but Amelia’s personality and unique talent shine through clearly in every one of the twelve songs. Studio sessions aside, a number of notable musicians have entrusted Amelia with opening their shows, including surfer/rocker Donavon Frankenreiter and Australia’s Got Talent winner Joe Robinson.
Further testament to Scalies’ musical prowess is her position as a top 40 artist in the adult contemporary indie music charts. And unlike other teen artists who yodel over heavily layered dance tracks and skip off to take selfies or get chatting online, Scalies plays her own instruments. She is equally at ease strumming a guitar as she is stroking a violin. As we mentioned earlier she also pens her own lyrics, lyrics with a depth that belies her young age. No wonder her tunes are accessible to folks of all ages; no wonder I found my head swaying and my mind connecting with the uplifting message wrapped in the lonely piano strokes of ‘Rise’. This is one of I Should’ve Known’s cuts that I fell in love with at first listen. It is a simple tune sang at the right tempo about dusting yourself up from rejection and moving on.
The country-like ‘Rose Blossom’ is another standout number. “You tucked a rose blossom in my hair…” Amelia sings longingly to some mystery lover in a mist of swaying guitars and subdued drums. It is the perfect song for a long drive through the country (if you’re the passenger). The closing song ‘Don’t let Them Win’ will draw gasps from any listener when they learn that it was written by a ten year-old Amelia. The song encourages victims of bullying to stand up for themselves and not “let them win”. It is a fitting way to conclude an outstanding body of work by a musician who is just finding out what the world’s about. Though you could never tell if you just listened to the music without knowing the face behind the voice.
Having out-battled strong fields in various ‘battle of the bands’ competitions and played at music festivals and gigs from Philadelphia to New York, it’s clear that Amelia Scalies is a name we’re going to be hearing a lot more of.
Miami Based, Internationally Known