HOW’S this for a compliment? When Amanda Mair released her debut single last summer, the Washington Post wrote: “The 16 (yes, 16)-year-old Mair sounds more like Kate Bush than Kate Bush does on her gorgeous, grown-up debut track”
No faint praise, that. And the plaudits keep on coming for the Stockholm singer, who started singing when she was four and was discovered by Labrador Records at 15.
“My first official performance was when I was five, and I sang Barbie Girl at a song contest at kindergarten,” she says. “When I was eight I started to take piano as well as singing lessons.”
She started taking her music more seriously three years ago after her mum asked her if she wanted to record three covers, just for fun. “My sister’s boyfriend knew Tom Steffensen who owns a studio in Stockholm.
“Two years later I recorded those three songs, and Tom called and told me he’d played my cover songs for [label boss] Johan Angergård. According to Tom, Johan said he wanted to hear more from me. I signed the contract with Labrador Records and that was how it all began.”
As for those Kate Bush comparisons, she says, “When I first heard someone say that, I was like, ‘Okay, who is that?’ I’d heard one song or something, but when I read it in the newspaper, I was like maybe I have to listen to her. I can’t really hear what people are comparing with, but she’s fantastic.”
Amanda Mair, Sneaky Pete’s, Cowgate, Monday, 7pm, £6, 0131-225 1757