Recorded partly in LA and partly in her adopted hometown of Nashville, Helen Of Memphis finds Stroup pushing her songwriting into bold new sonic territory, incorporating bright, electronic pop elements into groove and beat-driven tunes that absolutely bubble over with feminine empowerment and confidence – a concept partly inspired by her late grandmother’s love of fashion.
For a decade now, Stroup has been crafting the kind of songs that transport listeners with rich, emotional honesty and vivid storytelling. Her music has been featured in dozens of television shows, including This Is Us, Grey’s Anatomy, Parenthood, and The Walking Dead, as well major national ad campaigns for brands like Calvin Klein and Lexus. In addition to her critically acclaimed body of solo work, Stroup is also prolific collaborator, teaming up with Andrew Simple to record as Danger Twins (you’ve likely heard their songs in spots for Google, Universal Studios, and New Balance among others) and partnering with Trent Dabbs for Sugar & The Hi-Lows, a playfully retro duo that Rolling Stone said “built a bridge between the rootsy stomp of early Sun Records tunes and the harmonized swoon of old Brill Building pop songs.”
The praise was universal and effusive for the Sugar & The Hi-Lows’ two LPs, with USA Today raving that “the only thing better than the bluesy, garage-rock guitars is Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup’s vocal chemistry,” and Marie Claire swooning for “Stroup’s salted-caramel voice.” With a live show to match their albums’ undeniable charm, the pair earned dates with the likes of Chris Stapleton, Emmy Lou Harris, Kings of Leon, Kacey Musgraves, and Ingrid Michaelson, as well as festival appearances from Austin City Limits to Cayamo.
When it came time to record Helen Of Memphis, her third full-length solo album and first since 2015’s Tunnel, Stroup decided to leave Nashville and force herself to step beyond the boundaries of her comfort zone. Stroup headed for LA to team up with two thirds of the production team, SUPERCOOKIES, best known for collaborating on DRAM’s “Broccoli.” It was a far cry from the Nashville scene she’d grown accustomed to, but Stroup took to it with ease. Along with creative partner Mary Hooper, she and the SUPERCOOKIES team crafted intoxicating instrumental tracks, layering up bass and drum loops and capturing whatever freewheeling vocal melodies they inspired. Other collaborators in the project include, One Republic’s Tim Meyers, Ruslan Odnoralav (recently worked with Mat Kearney and Timbaland), Tofer Brown, Rob Kleiner (known for his work with Sia), Andrew Simple, and long-time producer friend, Thomas Doeve.