The American indie musician’s EP rings with longing, self-realization and melancholic summer vibes.
Feast your ears on Bantug‘s debut EP called Blue, an array of snappy singles released over the course of one and a half years with the addition of new track “Just Like A Dream”. The collection as a whole is a win—resounding with vulnerability, strength and an honesty offered without reservation.
Amanda Bantug was born in a small suburb of Atlanta, Georgia to a family of musicians; she grew up playing multiple instruments and wrote her first song at the age of ten. After high school, she moved to Nashville to attend an accelerated music program. There, she met a like-minded group of individuals who helped her experiment with production and engineering and created a space to further develop her sound as an artist. She’s currently majoring in Psychology with a double minor in Sociology and Neuroscience, a background which offers insight into the often-probing themes in her music.
Among Bantug’s musical inspirations are artists such as Feist, Solange, Jenn Wasner from Wye Oak, and Channy Leaneagh from Policá, whom Bantug lovingly refers to as “kickass women with matchless vision.” For Bantug, this debut EP is a culmination of all that she has accomplished over the course of the last two years. “This EP is definitely an introduction of who I am. I think the listeners are on the same journey as I am,” she says. “This stratosphere for me is brand new and I continue to keep finding out what more I can do.”
Each song certainly has its own unique character that brings to life a clearer image of her artistic prowess. At first, she saw minimal cohesion between the tracks individually; when it came time to wrap each piece into a collective package, she decided to name the album Blue after the consistent color present in the artwork for each single.
The album starts out with the dreamy and ethereal “Wine Beeline”, which sets the tone for the rest of her sound; a sublime yet strong vocal, 80s inspired synths, catchy, well-produced melodies, and an overall uplifting atmosphere. “Just Like a Dream” is the next track off the five piece EP and the newest addition to the Blue family. The soulful song drips with melancholic meaning: “There was this season when a handful of close friends could not catch a break. I mean, it truly was a series of unfortunate events,” she describes. “And I always think how it’s so fascinating that we have these wild, vivid dreams, yet we are not always able to remember them. This phenomenon made a bridge to this time of hardship. It’s like you think you have everything in place, or some type of life plan, and then it all dissipates.”
The rest of the tracks fall peacefully into place, lining up with the warm and insistent sense of longing and self-realization that everyone can identify with. We will wait with baited breath for the continuation of this creative vision and even more melancholic summer vibes.