Bedroom Community

Press Reviews for All is Well

On All Is Well, Sam Amidon's woeful voice is honey-tinged yet slightly hoarse, as if he's been singing into the wind on a wildflower-strewn Appalachian mountainside. But the 26-year-old is not undiscovered back-country banjo-strummer. In addition to playing with Doveman, Stars Like Fleas Assembly, Nico Muhly, Childsplay, Wild Asparagus and family project the Amidons, he has also released three solo albums. For his fourth, Amidon plucks obscure Appalachian folk songs and adds a dash of whimsy and modern sensibility. All Is Well is like something that your great-grandpappy from West Virginny and your favorite emo-anarchist from Billyburg would produce if they were locked in a room with nothing but a viola, Wurlitzer and transistor radio blaring Moran Lee "Dock" Boggs. And no wonder: The record hails from Icelandic collective Bedroom Community, brainchild of Bjork and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy collaborator Valgeir Sigurdsson. Sigurdsson produced All Is Well, and his gift for balancing quirky newfangled touches with the classic sounds of strummin' git-down imprints itself all over. In less skilled hands, the lyrics "Well, my little Doney Gal, don't you guess/Better be making your wedding dress/Well, it's already made, trimmed in green/Prettiest dress you've ever seen" would seem embarrassingly earnest. But Amidon's sedate voice and innovative arrangements bury the cloying qualities in a layer of dusky gravel, providing such moments a surprising emotional intensity. "Little Johnny Brown" perfectly embodies the album's lovely paradoxes: Labyrinthine instrumental layers seasoned with percussive textures, Nico Muhly's piano work and Eyvind Kang's eerie viola transform a straightforward folk band ballad into nothing less than a goose-bump-manufacturing sonic piéce de résistance. 

Kathleen Wilcox

CMJ New Music Monthly (February 1st 2008)

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I See The Sign
Released on 19 April 2010
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All is Well
Released on 22 October 2007
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