Thu, Aug 17, 2023 | 7:30pm
With one foot in the real world and the other in a charmed dimension of his own making, Amos Lee creates the rare kind of music that’s emotionally raw yet touched with a certain magical quality.
On his eighth album Dreamland, the Philadelphia-born singer/songwriter intimately documents his real-world struggles (alienation, anxiety, loneliness, despair), an outpouring born from deliberate and often painful self-examination. “For most of my life I’ve walked into rooms thinking, ‘I don’t belong here,’” says Lee. “I’ve come to the realization that I’m too comfortable as an isolated person, and I want to reach out more. This record came from questioning my connections to other people, to myself, to my past and to the future.”
On “Worry No More”—the mantra-like lead single to Dreamland—Lee shares his hard-won insight into riding out anxiety. “I’ve had a lot of episodes with anxiety in my life and now I feel much more equipped to handle them, partly because my family and friends have always been so supportive of me,” he says. “Music has also been so healing for me, and helped me to find a place in my mind that isn’t purely controlled by fear.” To that end, “Worry No More” gently exalts music’s power to brighten our perspective, with the song’s narrator slipping into a headphone-induced reverie as they wander a broken world (“I’m listening to the sounds of Miles/Spanish sketches, playground smiles/Crowded streets and empty vials/For all to share”).
Special Guest: Mutlu
A Philadelphia musician who proudly carries a torch for the city’s soul legacy, Mutlu makes a connection
with every audience. He’s toured across the U.S. and Europe with his musical brother, Amos Lee, who discovered Mutlu’s music just as both of their careers were taking off.
Mutlu (pronounced moot’-lu) is a first-generation American whose parents moved from Turkey to the United States in the 1970s. Now roughly fifteen years into a career as a professional musician, he
believes that his Turkish heritage informs his perspective as an artist.
“The vocal connection, that’s the cornerstone of everything I do,” he says. “Everything else is in service
of that, performance-wise and production-wise. In R&B and soul music, singers try to really emotionally connect, vocally. It’s about that special thing that can happen when you really dig down deep and give a performance that moves people.”