A rhythmic strumming pattern floats in carrying Beckah Amani’s echoing vocals on her new track, “Standards.”
Amani has an incredible vocal range that blew me away – I was so impressed how flawlessly she could fit these clear, ringing high notes. There are some moments where her singing feels so effortless and I wonder if her voice is flying above it all. Her layered vocalization, designed to bring more depth into the song, and the emotion she brings onto this track is truly stunning. She interrupts the calm of the instrumentation with her roiling emotions, and it reminds me that both of those states of being can exist at once in a strange, yet beautiful dissonance. Amani manages to inject her personal experience with racism into a beautiful song; one that will hopefully resonate with listeners that may need to gain more insight and understanding. In this song, she addresses what her identity as a Black child of immigrants has affected how she moves through life, struggling to reconcile her true self with what society wants her to be in a way that impacts her day-to-day survival. This is not an impersonal song at all; this is Amani telling her story honestly to anyone who wants to listen and, in a way, she invites listeners to interrogate their own action – or inaction – in the fight against racism.
Amani is an Australia-based singer-songwriter and she’s very involved in the local music scene. She has performed live on television and is slowly building her social media with her videos. Gold Coast Blank magazine claimed that her song, “Gold,” was one of the best in 2020. “Standards” is a single off her upcoming album, Settling Scores, which should be released sometime in the coming months.
Review by Tatum Jenkins, Edited by Hannah Schneider