Amen Dunes Interview: What "Love" Means

“Love,” by Amen Dunes, is about addiction of different kinds: love as a loss of self, as both it and substance abuse have ways of eclipsing the self. It is a collection of songs on regaining that lost sense of self, after the dissolution of a romantic relationship or after trying to get clean. Brooklyn, New York-based singer/songwriter Damon McMahon projects his mournful vibrato as a means of self-empowerment, amplifying at once a great capacity for love and an ability to wisely see beyond its torpid haze.

The third full-length Amen Dunes album is titled so succinctly, but is so loaded with meaning and near-endless potential for interpretation, that I had the novel idea to ask the artist –whose vocal exertions ooze intimacy, the mark of one who has truly come into his own –what his songs mean to him. McMahon has commonly related that he intended to make an album that is “unencumbered and honest about love,”to pull himself out of the artist’s self-centered/self-aggrandizing/self-effacing vortex and swing his axe at universality: to make “something useful.” It is in this spirit I decided to approach our conversation…


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