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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Amelia Day on connecting to her inner ‘Little One’ for new EP

The Vanderbilt singer-songwriter speaks on growing up, finding her sound and her future plans as an artist.
EP cover art for “Little One.” (Photo Courtesy of Amelia Day)

Senior Amelia Day is bringing us a project with the inner child in mind with her new EP, “Little One,” which was released on Nov. 3. Day is majoring in English and minoring in Jazz voice performance while also pursuing a career in the music industry.“It’s this exploration of coming-of-age in your early 20s and being in between an adult and being a teenager, trying to figure out where you fit in,” Day said. “It’s returning to the playfulness of music, kind of like a kid playing in a sandbox of genres.”

Day leaned into a variety of styles when producing “Little One” rather than sticking to one genre. She described her perspective of the project as leaning more into a playful theme that encompasses multiple styles. She also has an open approach to her songwriting.

“I start with either an emotion I’m experiencing at a certain time, or I’ve got a crazy long notes app of just song ideas, lyric ideas or just little snippets of things that I really want to write about,” Day said. “Then I sit down and try to puzzle out: ‘how will I structure that, what do I want to say about that idea? What angle do I want to approach it from?’”

Day also uses a hands-on approach with her production.

“I care a lot about the arrangement of the songs as well as the writing because I think it’s all part of making a recorded track,” Day said. “Even if I don’t have a clear idea going in, I like being involved with the experimentation every step of the way as much as I can.”

“Little One” opens with “Pause”: A soft melody, birds chirping and warm vocals from Day that immediately transport you to a flowery meadow on the banks of a creek with a gentle breeze passing by. Day sings, “I got flowers in my hair / And music in the air / Aren’t you ready for it all to pause?” I want to take her up on that offer. 

The environment Day builds with “Pause” is perfect for relaxation and enjoyment, which Day, as an English major, finds through literature. 

“I have definitely seen a tie between my love for literature and my love for music in the sense that it’s all storytelling,” Day said. 

Still, Day finds that the nature of music itself makes an impact on creative expression.

“I love words, and as much as I am obsessed with them at times, words can only say so much,” Day said. “There’s so many other factors that music can express that goes beyond language that you can’t even necessarily understand through theory or any other technical means. It’s just very emotive.”

Day also noted that the EP does not fit one genre, which the difference between “Pause” and “Woe is Me” exemplifies. The track has more of a funk-pop vibe to it, featuring Molly Grace, a fellow Nashville artist. The song plays with the harsh reality of going from a kid with a dream to an adult trying to get by in the music industry. Day even pokes fun at her college education, singing, “Fifty K for a degree in how to sing and write rhymes.” The end of the song features a voiceover of someone laughing at the concept of an “independent artist,” noting that creators like Day should “get a real job;” still, Day is doing quite well for herself in her musical pursuits.

“I’m intending to pursue [music] full time. I’ve gotten to a point where I can full-time support myself off of gigs,” Day said. 

When it comes to her location, she plans on finding gigs back home in Washington, but Nashville is still a second home.

“[Nashville] is one of those cities that you really need to be in if you want to make connections. There are way more opportunities here,” Day said.

The EP continues with “Skippin’ Down the Sidewalk,” which brings us to a sunny afternoon stroll with a euphoric, love-struck narrator singing about their crush. The song has strong jazz influences, which Day credits as being one of the genres she’s gotten more into lately; still, with all of the genres she writes in, Day keeps lyrics at the forefront. 

“I will listen to anything as long as it’s very intentional,” Day said. “I definitely prioritize the lyrics and never want the music to detract from the story that I’m trying to express.”

“Therapist’s Wet Dream” is one of those songs that you can never decide whether you should dance or cry along to its catchy hook and vulnerable lyrics. While being my favorite track off of the EP, “Therapist’s Wet Dream” is also Day’s proclaimed favorite, too.

“I’m very excited about every single part of [“Therapist’s Wet Dream”]. I feel like this song is the most raw and intimate that I’ve been in a piece,” Day said.

Day’s favorite musical moment from the EP, however, comes from the following track, “Alma Mater.” The song, which leans more into the rock genre as it describes the complex relationship with the narrator’s past, has a bridge that builds into a giant crescendo of emotion. “They’ll never win,” Day sings over and over in the bridge with increasing intensity, referring to the “high school sweethearts” that she’s reminiscing about being a part of. 

“Sonically, I think it’s one of the coolest moments on the project,” Day said.

Day, who graduated high school in 2020, noted that she did not get full closure from her high school experience due to the pandemic. “Alma Mater” was her way of processing those emotions.

The EP concludes with the titular track, “Little One.” The acoustic production makes it an intimate and soothing listening experience that you’ll find yourself swaying along to. It’s an anthem for connecting to your inner child with lyrics such as “I am you, and you’re still me.”

“My mom used to call me a ‘little one,’” Day said. “I really, really loved that the project was all aligned under this one theme.”

Now that Amelia Day, the “Little One” herself, is a senior, she is looking forward to the next chapter of her career and her life.

“As scary as it is, I’m excited to graduate,” Day said. “I’ll still be balancing a lot of things, but it is definitely tough to be a full-time student and have a social life, get good sleep and also be running a business as well. I’m trying to make art in the midst of all of that. I want to just clear up my mind and time as much as possible to be able to just focus on music.”

Vanderbilt, and Nashville as a whole, have made an impact on Day’s work. She referenced how she used the common country songwriting style of centering in on a main metaphor, which she used previously on her song “Silhouette” from her debut EP, “Eastward of Eden,” which came out last year. With these new influences, Day’s music is ever-evolving.

“When I was in high school, I wrote a lot more intimate, confessional songs that didn’t have as much organization,” Day said. “Then moving into college, I wrote a lot more imagery-based pieces. Moving into my senior year and beyond, I’ve started to combine the two a little more.”

While Day has a plan to keep creating music, performing in her native Pacific Northwest and continue to make connections and work in Nashville, she’s not afraid of spontaneity.

“If somebody asked me to open for them on tour, everything’s out the window,” Day said. “I’ll do what I can to just take every opportunity as it comes.”

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About the Contributor
Chloe Whalen
Chloe Whalen, Staff Writer
Chloe Whalen (‘27) is from Herscher, Ill., and is studying communication of science and technology in the College of Arts and Science. She previously served as Deputy Life Editor. In her spare time, she enjoys running, listening to multiple genres of music and podcasts and doing jigsaw puzzles. She can be reached at [email protected].
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The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
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George Albu
7 months ago

Great article, Chloe! 🙂