To say that Amanda Blank is a bit of a spitfire would be a terrific understatement. To say that she is a rapping, singing, dancing, laughing, nonstop-talking, one-woman party machine might be more accurate. A frequent co-conspirator of Santigold, Spank Rock, and M.I.A., the Philly-based musician has come into her own with I Love You (Downtown Records, 2009)—a confectionary offering of club-approved summertime rap jams and seamless, goofball pop music. “It took me a long time to figure out how to write a song,” the 26-year-old Blank says. “I was so used to working with other people, it took a minute to sort out exactly what I wanted to say. Mostly, I wanted to make a record for girls like me . . . or really for girls and gay boys. I never understood those girls who didn’t really like other girls. Not me—I’ve got, like, 50,000 superclose girlfriends. This record is for them.” Sure enough, favorite topics throughout I Love You include makeup, breakups, and hooking up. Shameless booty calls (“Lemme Get Some”) cozy up to sweaty electro bangers (“Something Bigger, Something Better”) as well as a few thoughtful heartbreakers (including “Leaving You Behind” featuring Lykke Li). Slinging back a vodka and Red Bull and frantically puffing a cigarette before a recent New York City performance, Blank admits that she’s not always the coolest girl when it comes to the stage. “I’m always a little bit nervous,” she says, “I don’t have any backup dancers. I don’t have flashy bullshit—it’s just me and a microphone. This time I’m alone up there, so I gotta be sellin’ the shit out of these songs no matter what.”
I Love You is available today from Downtown Records.