AMANDA ANNE PLATT & THE HONEYCUTTERS
The Devil / Rabbit
RECORD LABEL:Organic Records
LOCATION:Asheville, North Carolina
Like any good novelist, singer/songwriter Amanda Anne Platt knows not to reveal everything at the front of a story. So it’s taken until now, with the third release of paired singles from her deconstructed project, The Devil/The Deep Blue Sea, for Platt and her long-time colleagues, The Honeycutters—Matt Smith (pedal steel, baritone guitar), Rick Cooper (bass, vocals), and Evan Martin (drums, guitar, piano, vocals)—to serve up an actual piece of the sprawling effort’s title in “The Devil,” paired with the moodier, meditative recollection of “Rabbit.”
“‘The Devil’” is a breakup song,” Platt reveals, “but it’s also kind of a coming of age song. Things get murky when a relationship ends badly—everyone does things that they regret. It’s a little melodramatic but relatable, I think. This was a song that I resisted recording for a while (I think it was in the running for the last couple of albums), but the guys kind of ran with it and made it feel like a fun country song. I love baritone guitar and was excited to get Matt playing one on this track.”
Offered up in the country-flavored style that has endeared her to fans and tastemakers alike, “The Devil” finds Platt’s narrator recounting the life cycle of an impetuous marriage that falls apart almost as quickly as it began—and though it’s hardly autobiographical, the song’s vivid details and unmistakable touches of anger and righteous indignation mark it as undeniably true to life, right down to the barely perceptible notes of regret. “The Devil had to fall once, too,” each chorus ends, wistfully acknowledging the narrator’s own responsibilities for the dismal outcome, while the band plays on almost relentlessly, framing the sad story in a dancehall atmosphere reminiscent of a thousand country songs.
“Rabbit,” the pair’s nominal B-side, takes the tempo into more relaxed territory, driven by the lyric’s meditation on longer emotional cycles. “‘Rabbit’ is a strange little song about the comings and goings of life,” says Platt. “I did literally sit down to write it after witnessing my dog kill a baby rabbit. That kind of got folded into a bigger story about the way that life carries us sometimes…makes decisions for us…pushes us gently (or not so gently) from one extreme to the other. I decided it would be right for this album because of the larger theme of the ebb and flow of creativity, the light and the shadow, etc. Because of all this I really wanted this track to sound very hazy and dreamlike.”
With its lush pedal steel chords, widely-spaced backbeats and Platt’s almost languid delivery, “Rabbit” is hazy and dreamlike, indeed—pensive and resigned, referring in an almost offhand way to the passage of years in sharp contrast to the raw immediacy of “The Devil.”
In short, then, this pair of songs embodies exactly the dualism that lies at the heart of Amanda Anne Platt’s The Devil/The Deep Blue Sea project—and, of course, it’s also a pair of songs that will leave listeners hungry for more.
KEY SELLING POINTS
- An Asheville, NC entity, the band is critically acclaimed locally, regionally, nationally, as well as overseas
- Previous album Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters (Organic Records 2017) placed #2 (sandwiched between Jason Isbell and Gregg Allman) in their regional radio station WNCW’s year end listeners poll for 2017