Santa Cruz Sentinel - May 2005
Portland-based country/jazz/folk band Amelia orchestrates joyfully gloomy sounds via cinematic balladry, torched country stylings and melancholy pop. Frontwoman Teisha Helgerson evokes the likes of Patsy Cline, Joao Gilberto and Sade, singing several of her songs in Spanish. It?s a bilingual, countrypolitan act that only Portland could produce.
-- Garaj Mahal
One listen to After All (Slow Down), the self-released sophomore effort by Portland's Amelia, and it's pretty clear what's going on: misty-voiced chanteuse Teisha Helgerson has somehow managed to coax the Bad Seeds away from Nick Cave. What else to make of guitarist Scott Weddle's jazzy, Depression-era blues riffs or Jesse Emerson's gurgling sideshow Wurlitzer organ fills? Songwriter Helgerson takes full advantage of her talented musicians, simultaneously evoking desire and despair on self-penned tracks such as "Better Than Sleeping Alone." Hey, what isn't? Bassist Michael Papillo and drummer Steve Moretti play the rhythms straight and simple as Amelia shift through material that alternates between Latin, American and European influences, with Helgerson donning whatever mask feels appropriate, Patsy Cline one moment, Esma Redzepova the next. There is, of course, only one North Bay venue capable of showcasing such a chameleon, and that would be Zebulon's Lounge, where Amelia check the wee hours on Friday, May 20, at midnight. (R. V. Scheide)