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Amy Macdonald

Many golden oldie purists out there might disagree with Amy’s credentials as a folk artist (think KT TUNSTALL and KIRSTY MacCOLL), but to many musos with an ear for the all-encompassing genre will hear more a tinge of the Caledonian/Celtic variety. Influenced early on in her career by Fran Healy of TRAVIS, one thing was clear, and that was that the young contralto singer-songwriter (born 25 August 1987 in Bishopbriggs near Glasgow), had an abundance of talent and pop appeal.
After a stuttering start with debut single, `Poison Prince’ (based on the tumultuous history of a certain PETE DOHERTY), MACDONALD hit pay dirt with two hook-line platters, `Mr Rock’n’Roll’ and `This Is The Life’; two of the better moments on her strum-friendly, chart-topping debut album, THIS IS THE LIFE (2007) {*7}. Although not a major success in the discerning US until a little later, she was fast becoming an international star and award-winning celeb all over Europe; she was engaged in 2008 to journeyman footballer Steve Lovell (ex-Portsmouth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Falkirk); they subsequently split.
Three years in the making, A CURIOUS THING (2010) {*6}, took Amy Mac further from bona fide folk circles and into the realms of pop-land (it hit Top 5), although only lead single, `Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over’, managed a semi-respectable chart placing; the album’s high spots `Spark’, `This Pretty Face’, `Love Love’ and `Your Time Will Come’ readily failed to send a buzz into yer digital-download punters.
Up to this point, Amy had covered several pop/rock songs, including `Mr Brightside’ (The KILLERS), `Born To Run’ + `Dancing In The Dark’ (BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN), `Rock’n’roll Star’ (OASIS), `Fairytale Of New York’ (The POGUES), `Caledonia’ (DOUGIE MACLEAN) and `A Town Called Malice’ (The JAM).
The unmistakable soaring sound of AMY MACDONALD chalked up yet another Top 3 set a la LIFE IN A BEAUTIFUL LIGHT (2012) {*7}. For avid listeners of the Scots singer-songwriter she could do no wrong; for others not so taken in by her frantic folk-pop (`Slow It Down’, `Pride’ and `4th Of July’ all failed to break the Top 40), she was safe enough stadium-bait to compete alongside The CRANBERRIES and DEACON BLUE. Ironically by trying to give way to an American mainstream motif, in an almost impossible task of shaking off her comparisons to KT TUNSTALL and DOLORES O’RIORDAN, major labels across the Atlantic Ocean therein didn’t even give Amy’s work a second glance.
Taking time out to reflect on the important things in life, fashion award winner Amy announced her engagement to another Scottish footballer, Richard Foster, in January 2016; she married him two years on. A long-awaited fourth album UNDER STARS (2017) {*6}, was probably too long in the can, having been completed the previous spring. Still, the album was a resounding hit all over Europe, culminating in near No.1 spots in the British and Scottish charts. She’d proudly sang one of its tracks, `Leap Of Faith’, for the Scottish Independence referendum of September 2014; another, the awe-inspiring `Down By The Water’ waited in line for its downline-single release after choice cuts, `Dream On’ and `Automatic’.
As 2018 came to a close, the spirited MACDONALD was back in fine fettle by way of the anthemic and well-timed `Woman Of The World’; also the title of her all-embracing “Best Of” album. Sadly, the worrying aspect of troubling times ahead (Brexit, Brexit and more Brexit), meant it only just scraped into the Top 50.
© MC Strong/MCS 2011/GFD2 // rev-up MCS Nov2018

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