In this era where dropping digitally exclusive albums is not only the most affordable option for artists but also the best strategy to reach the masses, it can be tough to justify a physical format. But for some multi-disciplinary creatives, commemorating a release in a tangible format only arrives once framed within a fuller picture; people like Austin polymath Blair Robbins.
On top of being an insanely talented visual artist and passionate pro-musician activist, this singer-multi-instrumentalist poet/songwriter’s been sharing their art under the handle Ama for the past decade. As Robbins’ philosophies and aesthetic’s evolved over time, so has Ama’s sound and personnel; it started out as a quartet in 2014 but without the restriction of a fixed lineup, Blair allows Ama’s artistry to permeate whenever the inspiration strikes, a liberty that extends to their abstract paintings as well. Sonically, Ama’s caught adoration thanks to retro-alt-indie rock, as heard on their mid-2010s EPs Losing Less and Trilogy, but their magnum opus to date is decidedly the 2020 full-length Both/And, a nine-track that’s racked up tons of support on Bandcamp.
Both/And never received a physical print, and that’ll still be the case at least for the foreseeable future. That said, ahead of their sophomore LP Mother, Ama commemorates the record with a zine release 10:30pm this Saturday at Captain Quackenbush’s Soundscape alongside openers Frozen Orange at 8:30 and Dwight Smith at 9:30. We’re sure this zine will gives us some more personal context on the emotionally erudite enigma that is Both/And, plus a complete package of everything Robbins’ been refining over time. So grab a copy in person, gift yourself a one-of-a-kind multimedia experience, and crack open Blair’s cranium with the Elliott Smith-meets-Alvvays-esque original “I See You See”. Because after its four-and-a-half minutes, you’ll see exactly why Blair’s a rising force to be reckoned with.
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