An absorbing, atmospheric and beautifully-shot video, directed and edited by Joshua Britt and Neilson Hubbard, accompanies the latest single from Amy Speace. Once again, Speace pulls off that amazing trick of writing something fresh and new while also sounding immediately familiar, like a song you’ve loved for years. ‘There Used to be Horses Here’ is the title track from the award-winning Speace’s new album, due for release on 30th April. The collection takes us through a period of Speace’s life that included her son’s first birthday and the passing of her father. Speace says: “During the last week of my father’s life, I drove [the road on the way to her parent’s house, past a farm she’d grown to love] and the farm had been sold, gutted for condos, and the horses were gone. I wrote this song very quickly after he died, the loss of both the horses, my childhood, my parents’ house, and most acutely, my father all tied to the images in this song.”
The arrangements and sonic layers are glorious – perfectly suited to the moving, intimate material. Speace describes how the album came to be written: “A month after I turned 50, I gave birth to my son, Huckleberry. My father was present for the birth and held him within hours. My Dad was 81 years old and we both knew my Dad would not see my son grow up. In the year between my son’s birth and my father’s death, these songs spilled out of me. I grieved in writing. I wanted to illuminate my father and his stories, from the horse farm near his home that was bulldozed to make room for condos (‘There Used To Be Horses Here’) to his memory of a car ride that came back to him in a dream the night before he died (‘Down The Trail’) to a photograph found in an old album (‘Father’s Day’). I wrote to my son as I nested with him in the morning (‘One Year’, ‘Mother Is A Country’). I sang to our ailing world as the pandemic raged around us (Warren Zevon’s ‘Don’t Let Us Get Sick’).” This really is a remarkable display of songcraft, full of absorbing depth, lyrical beauty and breathtakingly gorgeous sorrow. Devote some time to this.