The Book of Us is the most recent venture of Amelie Prime, a Portland-based ‘dark-pop’ duo. This sophomore EP explores contrasting dynamics and styles, which highlight a broad conceptual theme.
The first track “Gemini” is a straight ahead rock song, fit with crunchy, distorted guitars, blaring drums and powerful lead vocals. This sound meets a sharp contrast with the next song, “Commitment,” which features only piano and voice. The divergence of these two very different songs is also reflected in the lyrics. The first track is packed with the hurried energy of a spontaneous decision. The opening lyrics read, “Drive through the ghosts on the road to get to you faster”. The sentiment is stopped dead in its tracks and reality kicks in with the terse lyrics of the latter song. This tune signals the unfolding of the rest of the album as reservations, regrets and frustration come wave after wave in the following tracks.
Throughout, there is a tension of seeing something for what it once was and for what it is presently. The fourth track speaks of the pain of a loved one growing farther and farther away with the lyrics “watching you dry out is like watching you drown”. With another intimate piano and vocal song, the final offering on this five-song release finds resolve in separation: “Now I’m putting down the pen and tearing up the page. Emily, don’t come back to me.” Though somber, the EP speaks of a progression and growth, with an unwillingness to return to where you came from.
The mix of the rock band and singer/songwriter songs, thematic lyrics and bold vocals makes Amelie Prime’s sophomore release an engaging and interesting listen.