QUOTES, Reviews, Testimonials
[on her Top 5 Finalist Entry, "Love and Breakfast"]
"We loved this concept, so refreshingly original but encased in a pure, tried-and-true country sentiment. Lovely melody-writing, from the verse to the chorus to the bridge (a great bridge, by the way.) Nice transitions, too. Good job of writing to the title/hook. Easygoing storytelling that left us wanting more. This is a hit, right out of the box. Don't change a thing. Excellent job... this is how it's done."
- SongDoor International Songwriting Competition (Nashville, TN)
"Her newest tune, "Sunset," a story about letting go of an ex-lover, just became our new favorite female empowerment song of the summer. The track is a beautiful mixture of 80's synth-pop and 90's country - think Wilson Phillips' "Hold On" meets Stevie' Nicks' "Edge of Seventeen" with a twist of Cher's "Believe"- proving that Amanda can sing just about anything."
- Music City Melodies (Nashville, TN)
[on her recent single, "Don't Stop Me"]
Throughout the track, an emotive and dynamic soundscape circles McCarthy’s image-driven and empowering lyrics perfectly. Lush guitars and boisterous drums drive home an upbeat and twangy feeling to the track, while McCarthy’s powerful pop-country vocals ring out over top. Her delivery feels effortless, as she guides us through her emotional journey.
- Buzz Music (LA)
[on her recent single, "Don't Stop Me"]
"This empowering anthem is a multi-genre masterpiece, featuring rock-influenced lyrics with a twist of classic country. The single really showcases Amanda's confidence, not only in her vocal abilities but also in her incredible resilience. Listening to "Don't Stop Me" made us not only feel more positive about our own self-worth, but also reiterated just how cool Amanda McCarthy is...picture Taylor Swift meets Joan Jett. Can we be best friends?!"
-Music City Melodies (Nashville, TN)
[on "The Long Haul", co-written by McCarthy, cut by April Cushman]
"It's a daunting road described deftly in the title cut. Penned by New Hampshire singer-songwriter turned Nashville expat Amanda McCarthy and a few other locals who moved south, "The Long Haul" describes the shock of being "a big fish in a small town" set loose in an ocean of like-minded aspirants. Cushman jumped on the song when it was pitched to her. "The line that hits me the hardest is, 'Entitlement pays a price', she said."
- Michael Witthaus, The Hippo Magazine (Manchester, NH)
[on her recent single, "Sunset"]
"Subtle electronic production introduces the track alongside some simple but effective guitar before smooth vocals enter to establish the song in its country-adjacent Americana ballad vibe, anchored in the guitar twangs and power chords that feature throughout. The topic may be slightly somber in nature, but you would have to try pretty hard to feel anything other than uplifted by the infectious, upbeat musicality that aims to repackage the emotions attached to moving on in life."
-Pop Passion Blog (Online)
"This smart fearless, singer/songwriter has a way with words that draw you in, and make you wait to hear how the story unfolds. Amanda's approach is refreshingly real. She says what she wants to say, poetically, and makes the music she feels in her heart. The result is well crafted, honest and captivating art. Her progression is clear, especially in the ironically infectious, "Folk Song."
- Carolyn Kruse, WKLB Country 102.5 (Boston, MA)
"In her featured round, she demonstrated just how deep her well goes with the colorful "Green" and the determined "Don't Stop Me" with rhythmic support from Tom Shubsda."
- Rockin' Rich Lynch, Music City Nashville (Nashville, TN)
[on her single "Don't Stop Me"]
"As an artist known for her songwriting and story telling abilities, this song does not disappoint. The wavering pattern initial notes let us know that something is coming. We don't have to wait long for the strong music and the urge to dance.... The music cuts out to punch up the strength as she sings.... Instrumental components of a song can be just as powerful as the lyrics if done well. The way this ends highlights the message and drives home the emotion. As the music stops she continues to sing with a strong visual of her turning from the camera and walking away, leaving us looking at her back.
- Restless Music Magazine (Nashville, TN)
"Top to bottom, her latest album, 'Road Trip,' is filled with well-crafted illustrations that paint pictures and tell stories of someone in complete control of her art... original songs that were simultaneously haunting, memorable, and packed with irresistible hooks."
- Bill Burke, New Hampshire Magazine (Manchester, NH)
[on her single "Don't Stop Me"]
"The track will appeal to fans of Maren Morris and Kacey Musgraves."
- Michael Witthaus, The Hippo Magazine (Manchester, NH)
[on her single "I Love Who You Are"]
"The single is splendid folk-pop that is suitable for all moods; its message is of love and perseverance. The snappy snare rhythm, brilliant acoustic melodies, and larger-than-life harmonious choruses are led by McCarthy’s enchanting vocals, driving the message home."
- The Deli Magazine (New England)
[on her album "Road Trip", A+ rating]
"Kick-off track 'Idaho' is a proclamation of her commitment to living up to the fearless vagabond archetype; she's well aware that she's going to have to leave the state armed with some great stuff - which this is - if she's going to get noticed in one of the three music meccas. Nashville is the right move for her really; the song sounds exactly like what you'd expect to hear if you thought of a Jewel and Shania Twain team-up, an exuberantly sunny jaunt on a balloon of open-chord strumming. The zydeco-pocked 'Folk Song' shows her Tay-Tay side; 'Tiki Bar' moves from phone-patch vocal giddiness into a full-blown singalong."
- Eric Saeger, The Hippo Magazine (Manchester, NH)
"The music acts as a snapshot through Amanda's musical journey, her incredible voice acting as the wind coasting through the breeze as you're traveling down the highway experience everything that Amanda has to offer up for you. I was impressed with her talents, and she definitely has a little bit of that country flare that makes her stand out prominently and not get lost amongst the pack of other singer-songwriters out there. What Amanda does is offer up an auto-biographical snapshot of where she currently is in her life to her listeners that makes her that much more relatable to the average person, where they can correlate to something currently going on in their life, and have her music as a traveling companion through life's journey. A remarkably talented artist that I look forward to hearing more from in the future."
- Music Box Pete, review (Boston, MA)
"Audiences love her outside the box music, lyrics and funky style."
- WMUR & NH Chronicle (Concord, NH)
"If you're feeling bummed out that summer is soon over and want to get lost in that ocean breeze while sipping on a mojito, Tiki Bar is that song that will soak up all of those negative vibes.... that pit stop that you will never forget from that life changing road trip."
- Foolish Dreams Music Blog, review (Ontario, Canada)
"Amanda McCarthy proves on this Road Trip debut that all of her hard work these last few years have been well worth it. She's mastered folk, rock, and pop idioms."
- Bill Copeland Music News (Londonderry, NH)
"Amanda McCarthy boasts a surreal calm and a lived-in glow that dispels turmoil and the quiet sadness that resonates throughout her latest project. The beauty and unshakable warmth at the core of her breezy compilation acts as the filter to her own world, a safe space she has created within which she can evaluate her relationships with others and herself.
- Xttrawave Music Blog, review (Online)
"Walking back upstairs from the bathroom, to my surprise, Amanda McCarthy and her band we’re performing a cover of Aerosmith’s 'Mama Kin.' The drums and bass were on point, the guitarist embodied the ghost of Joe Perry and Amanda commanded the leads, all raw, all real instruments. It was fantastic, tons of energy, something different than I have been accustomed to finding all too often in Manchester."
- Stefan Philbrook, Manchester Ink Link (Manchester, NH)
"Didn't think my Album Of The Year spot would've been taken away so fast so easily, but this album is absolutely incredible."
- DJ Vortivask (Syracuse, NY)
"One of the strongest records out there this year."
-Nina Pickell, Off the Stage Music (Boston, MA)
"Road Trip is a great mix of pop & folk with a kiss of country. Her music is personal but also speaks to you. I've followed her career for over a decade and this is Amanda at her best. 14 tracks that you'll want to listen to over again while driving in the car or hanging in the backyard with a drink in your hand thinking about your own life with a smile on your face."
- Jeff Royds, Support Local Music (Boston, MA)
"Road Trip is a record that feels incredibly new. I have a feeling it'll feel new even as years pass. A record that ignites lust for travel and growth. These songs show an inspiring honesty that makes me want to be just as honest in all that I do. Road Trip by Amanda McCarthy is the best representation of herself, her art to date and is a truly inspiring, top shelf record."
- Together Records, Indie Label (Rockland, MA)
"You just know when someone is going to be very famous. Amanda McCarthy is one of those people. She is more than a rising star. She is Mercury climbing fast ready to break the glass. She captures your attention and leaves you hanging on every word. Her lyrics are that of an old soul. Insightful. Beautiful. Honest. Her voice instantly draws you in with gorgeous natural vibrato. So much ear candy!"
- Lindy Loops, review (Worcester, MA)
"From humble beginnings as a hometown hero, to local legend and beyond, this breakout artist has her sights set for greatness. With incredibly smooth vocals, impassioned lyrics, and a musical sensitivity beyond her years, she blends together an amalgamation of genres, what's popular, traditional and more. From the hardcore fan to casual listener, everyone can agree that McCarthy manages to paint a harmonious tapestry of harmonically rich and sonically pleasing sounds. Needless to say, it's not a stretch to assume she'll soon cement her place in the industry as one of the greats. Having just inked a deal with the award-winning music firm Big Noise, who will be providing her with invaluable tools, such as career and creative direction, artist development, project management and publicity, it's fair to say she will soon be a household name."
- Anthony Grant, BE:HYPED Magazine (New England)
"Amanda's style is reminiscent of intelligent, introspective songwriters such as Jewel and Stevie Nicks with songs like "Ignite" and "Sticks and Stones" but she also incorporates rock and quirk into songs such as "Awkward" the way Lisa Loeb or Ingrid Michaelson would. The standout song is "I Wish I Told You", a harmony-laden gem that has shades of Eisley mixed with Colbie Caillat and it demonstrates the depth of songwriting prowess that Amanda possesses. With clever yet introspective songwriting delivered through a powerful voice and equally powerful guitar, Amanda has proven that she has the talent and wisdom to get onstage with the heavyweights and stay there."
- Daniel Kilgour, Our City Radio (Portsmouth, NH)
"Amanda is a versatile performer with a beautiful rich vocal tone. From the rock ballads to the soft melodies, her range can take her anywhere. She has proven she is a talented singer songwriter with songs that emote raw emotion. Beyond her recognized talent, she is a warm and compassionate performer, who attracts crowds and carries a strong fan following."
- Patty Duffey, 'Music On & Up' Talent Agency - Artist Spotlight Blog (Topsfield, MA)
"I'll Be Back is a masterpiece."
- Ian Garland, Rockland Rebel Radio (Rockland, MA)
"She is no doubt an emerging star!"
- Urban Craft Magazine (Online)
"This lovely young lady from New Hampshire, has a mission to entertain you with great music. Amanda works hard at what she does in-order to put a smile on your face with her music. Amanda has a very pleasant voice that complements any song whether it is a cover or one of her originals, she will amaze you."
- Tommy Neal, Stars2Come (Lexington, KY)
“Amanda was always interested in original music and local performers and even when in high school I knew that she already had a following and was often booked at local venues. It was obvious that she not only had talent, but was a natural performer that people could identify with.”
- Karen Robinson, Radio Director at LEO 103 (Londonderry, NH)
"I just would love to let everybody out there who is looking for some great music talent know that Amanda McCarthy is your choice. She has performed at Penuche's for over two years and I highly recommend her. She is very talented and her voice and music is amazing. Customers and myself enjoy her special talent. Thank you Amanda and look forward to your gigs at Penuche's in the future."
- Chuck Kalantzis, Penuche's Music Hall (Manchester, NH)
[on her holiday single "Christmas Without You"]
"I love it. It's nostalgic but modern. Funny too."
- MB Padfield, Singer/Songwriter (Los Angeles, CA)