Why You Need To Listen To Amy Shark's Debut Album 'Love Monster'
When Australia heard the opening strums of Amy Shark's 'Adore' back in 2016, we all sort of collectively knew there was something special about it. There was a sort of hopeless vulnerability in the lyrics, but there was also steely determination. The menacing yet assertive lyric "I'm known as a right-hand slugger/Anybody else wanna touch my lover?" is intense, but, when in love, so are we. When we love, we can throw all smidgens of rationality way in favour of devotion, protection and, of course, adoration. It consumes us, it becomes us, it gives us our highest highs and our lowest lows.
So, when 'Adore' took off and Amy Shark was finally being recognised for her talents in ways much bigger than perhaps she ever thought possible, it was hardly a surprise. Two years later, Shark has delivered us her debut album, Love Monster, and it's just as passionate, relatable and brutally honest as we've come to expect.
Love Monster is the perfect debut album for Amy Shark because it encapsulates everything she's about so vividly. She mixes the fantasy of Lana Del Rey with the keen and sometimes scathing perception of Lorde, but makes it all her own. From the subtle, feather-light opening number ‘I Got You’ to the Jack Antonoff-produced ‘All Loved Up’, Shark has completely nailed describing the most mundane parts of love with fiery passion.
There’s something so endearing about the deep specificity she fearlessly dives into – “Fall into the shower/Useless and cold/And you don't ask that much of me/The tiles are freezing” on ‘I’m A Liar’ – that makes you feel like you’re experiencing these ups and downs with her. With every new line she paints a vivid picture with only the brightest of hues, so much so that you can hear what she hears, feel what she feels and see what she sees.
On the flip side, Shark’s passion also takes her down an incredibly dark route that culminates in ‘Middle of the Night.’ Perhaps the most honest Shark has ever been, she sings about some really grim subject matter. “Maybe I should try to sit up/Every time I eat, all I want to do is throw up on my body, on my life/Swear on a double-edged silver knife/I'm all over, I'm all tears” is just one of the heartbreaking lyrics Shark has penned for this song. It’s heartbreaking, yes, but it’s real. For what is love without its grisly shadow – the fear of losing it, and the maelstrom of feelings that come with that. The album’s called Love Monster, after all.
However, the greatest moment of the entire album lies in its lead single, ‘I Said Hi.’ Amy Shark has been working at this music thing for a very long time. Despite odds being stacked against her and despite all the people that told her she couldn’t, she did. The road to the top is winding, filled with obstacles and can leave one bruised, but Amy Shark sits atop the Australian music industry unafraid to show her scars. She’s unafraid to flip off everyone who told her ‘no’ and she’s unafraid to display every nook and cranny of her mind.
We’ve often been told that the monsters we think are under our bed aren’t real, but maybe that’s because they’re just lying beside us. Our love for others, whether romantically or otherwise, can totally dictate our behaviour and our personality. It can send us soaring, bathed in sunlight, or it can drown us in the freezing depths. But, most of all, it inspires us to keep going and to keep fighting. And that’s what Amy Shark is: she’s a fighter. She’s fought for her love, and she’s fought for her success, and now, with Love Monster, she can stand atop the podium drenched in gold. Because no matter what happens from here on out – she’s won.
Love Monster is out now.
You can catch Amy Shark's highly anticipated MTV Unplugged Melbourne performance on the 26th July at the Cobblestone Pavilion in Melbourne.
- Jackson Langford