Ever since Enumclaw resident Amanda Thompson received her first guitar when she was 12 years old, she was hooked on playing music and writing songs.
Now, just a year after graduating from Enumclaw High, Thompson has released her first extended play album on Sept. 18, called “Briel,” (which is also her stage name).
Thompson celebrated the EPs release with a small but passionate show at the Live Room in Sumner on Oct. 9, where she performed with Tommy McCracken as the lead guitarist, Brett Zadlo on the keyboard and Daniel Hope on percussion.
The EP release was also specially marked when the 107.7 The End radio show featured Thompson earlier last month.
“I’m so excited. This has literally been my life since I was a kid,” Thompson said about her EP release, which she worked on for over a year while she worked with her producer and manager (who is also her father) building a fan base before the album came out. “A lot of people don’t get to do what I’m doing and I’m so grateful that I was able to have the EP release party and be on the radio. That’s insane.”
Besides her laser-like focus on her music career, Thompson is also attending the Green River College, studying music theory and psychology for her associates degree.
While Thompson outlines the music for the piano and guitar portions of her songs, it’s the lyrics that she concentrates the most on.
“I spend the most amount of time on lyrics. That is the most important thing to me,” she said. “Melodies are really important too, but the lyrics I have to have perfect. I have to have a story behind them.”
In fact, the lyrics to most songs on her album are true stories about herself.
“Each song is a story in my life, and most of the songs are about romantic relationships,” said Thompson. “But I want to steer this next record away from the romantic relationships. I feel like I’m turning into Taylor Swift. That’s not the way I want to go.”
Thompson’s musical style is far from Taylor Swift’s, and is inspired by artists such as Lana Del Rey, Broods and Banks. Her music stays centered on an indie pop/techno musical style with some traditional piano thrown in, giving her music a classical feel among the soft electronics.
While her vocals are already a huge portion of “Briel,” Thompson plans to accentuate them by experimenting with stacking vocals in her next album.
Thompson admits how lucky she’s been in finding band members that clicked so well with her over Craigslist and finding a producer who meshes with her musically and stylistically.
But it’s been her father who have given her the most support through her budding music career.
“My dad is my manager. My dad is the guy who does everything. He is the one who put on the last release party and even introduced me to my (producer), and he’s the one who doesn’t really know about the music industry but is trying really hard to, just for me, so he is super supportive,” Thompson said. “I wouldn’t even be taking the steps that I am if it wasn’t for him.”