Amateur Best is the solo, electronic production and recording project of the London-born, Birmingham-based producer and electronic music artist, Joe Flory. Flory’s musical career began with his first musical project, Primary 1. With the release of Primary 1′s No Thrills, Flory had a growing profile across the European Union as he had toured as a backing drummer with Chilly Gonzales and The Kaiser Quartett.
Flory had relocated to Birmingham in order to sharpen his songwriting and production skills, and the result was Amateur Best, a project that has been praised by the British blogosphere for a sound that compares favorably to electro pop duo Cassius, the soundtrack work of Michael Nyman, as well as The Avalanches, David Sylvian and Ryuchi Nakamoto. Although to my ears, when I heard “They Know,” the latest single off Flory’s forthcoming Amateur Best album, The Gleaners slated for an October 2 release, I was immediately reminded of Barbarossa, as Flory’s plaintive and ethereal vocals are paired skittering and propulsive beats, layers of shimmering and cascading synths to craft a sound that owes a debt to house music and to thoughtful and deeply intimate singer/songwriter pop. Listening to the song sounds as though you’re delving deep into the fractured and perverted psyche of its narrator, who seems to be dealing with the crippling doubts and insecurities that make a real and intimate connection with another so difficult.
The recently released official video is shot in a gloriously cinematic black and white and features both a bearded and clean shaved Flory flanked by a troupe of expressive dancers, who contort themselves in ways that show the absolute beauty of the human form, while looking impossible. It’s a quietly-stated beauty that fits with the song.