Local singer-songwriter Amanda Kind says the pandemic, though hard on her and all performers, helped her examine herself and really gave a boost to her songwriting. She had the chance to experiment and explore the world of country music and is now releasing her first country music single titled, “Love Used to Live Here.”
The song is inspired by all the love stories, both good and sad, that she witnessed over the last two years.
“During the pandemic, I was noticing this trend that, you know, we’re spending all this time together with people you live in the same household with. And people were either strengthening their relationship… or honestly they were getting divorced or splitting up,” she said.
“‘Love Used to Live Here’ is really about what it means to untangle your life from someone when you have a house together, and so if you’re in this relationship with someone for a long time, and you have this home together and you’ve built this life, when one person leaves that life, and somebody else is left behind in that house, so there’s all these memories of what used to be. There is this idea that love used to live here, but it doesn’t anymore, and there’s something really complicated about that. And so, the song kind of tackles that.”
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The first verse of the song is about the time of newness when turning a house into a home with someone else with activities like painting, or putting up pictures. Then, verse two goes into the heartbreak of empty frames and empty rooms left behind after a person has moved out.
“Every song that you write kind of reflects something about your life. And in this case, you know, there are many people I know that have lived this experience. And I drew from many experiences to build the lyrics,” she said.
Although Kind’s song deals with a sad theme, the song itself is upbeat and very catchy.
“Given the contents of the song, the song title makes it sound like it should be this really sad ballad about losing love,” she said. “But when I was talking to my producer about the songs, we really feel like the song also celebrates the fact that love ever existed in the first place.
“There’s that famous quote, like it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. And so part of the song is celebrating that.”
The pandemic has been hard on all artists, but even so, Kind found she hit a stride during the pandemic.
“Prior to the pandemic, I kind of let performing and recording go for a bit and I didn’t realize how much I missed it until the pandemic came and gave me a chance to really examine my life and look at how I was filling my time and how much I enjoy creating music.”
She ended up connecting with some country music singer songwriters over Zoom during the pandemic and began to write music with them.
“Many of us started writing songs together over Zoom and once we realized that Zoom was actually really efficient for doing songwriting, the incredible thing started to happen that we started to write with people that are in locations further away from us. So during 2020 and even in early 2021, and it continues now, I did a lot of songwriting with people all across Canada and even some people in Nashville and other parts of the states.
“So in 2021, I ended up in a songwriting room with Carrie Demaeyer and James Downham and my producer Matt Koebel, and we ended up writing this duet called ‘We’re Okay.’ And James Downham, who is a country singer out of Stratford, released it last summer and I was the guest feature on it,” she said.
As a result of all the online activity during the pandemic, Kind estimates she has written more songs over the last two years than in the previous decade.
“I think if the pandemic had any benefit at all, it was to show us that maybe there were some barriers that we could break when it comes to connection with people who are maybe physically in a different place,” she said. “I’ve met so many people over the course of the last two years that I’ve never met in person. I have friends who I write with online that I’ve literally never met. And there are people who I think are amazing and I’m so grateful that I got to meet them during this time and somehow these doors have opened.”
That said, she is excited to be performing live again. “I am so grateful that the arts are coming back, like live entertainment is coming back in the way that it seems to be and fingers crossed that it stays that way,” she said.
“Love Used to Live Here,” is the first single from her upcQoming country EP, which is expected to be released in 2023.
She had some last parting words of advice for others thinking about creating music. “If there are people out there who want to create music, all I can say is once you give yourself permission to do that, you have no idea the kind of doors that will open for you. I can’t believe what’s happened to me over the last two years – I just feel like all these things that I’ve kind of hoped to do and dream of doing are starting to happen for me and it’s because I gave myself permission to create.”
Kind is slated to perform in the upcoming Belmont Village Bestival arts and music festival September 16 and 17.