Ah-Mer-Ah-Su Shines on Debut Album 'Star'

 Photo by: Jack Mannix

Photo by: Jack Mannix

Ah-Mer-Ah-Su’s debut album Star pulsates with glittery instrumentals, heavy bass, and the occasional dance break. Its gentle harmonies are intertwined with Ah-Mer-Ah-Su’s soft vibrato. At times, the album’s melodies wrestle with its haunting instrumentals, creating intensity that is magnified by its lyrics (the song “Boys,” for example.) At other times, like on “7-15-13,” Ah-Mer-Ah-Su’s emotional and commanding vocals are paired with dreamy electro-pop.

Lyrically, Star deals with relearning and recreating oneself after a traumatic upbringing and painful experiences. In the three interludes interspersed throughout the album Ah-Mer-Ah-Su and others speak to themes such as growing up as a black, trans woman, unlearning toxic beliefs, and self-care. The songs that follow are put in conversation with these interludes as Ah-Mer-Ah-Su details the ending of a relationship and her journey to loving herself. Ah-Mer-Ah-Su can be found reclaiming her own (as well as the listener’s) power on the triumphant closing track “Powerful.”

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Empathy (both for herself and others) is another prominent theme on Star. Opening track “On” and the tense, “Perfect”, serve as healing reminders of one’s strength and inherent worth. Even break-up songs such as “Stale Water” and “Need You, Need Me” are compassionate while still honoring Ah-Mer-Ah-Su’s truth and need for healing.

Star is both dark and light, and shows that recovery and healing can be painful, but also beautiful and exciting.

-Sky Aikerson

Delaney Motter