Singer, songwriter, and pianist Pamela Machala (“MOCK-uh-luh”) writes “pop music for deeper listening” (BolderBeat) with influences ranging from jazz and soul to musical theater and folk. Signatures of Pamela’s songwriting include sprightly hooks, subtly complex chord changes, feelgood funky grooves, boldly vulnerable lyrics, and a distinctive blend of melancholy, hope, and goofiness. Her genre-blending sound is both modern and reminiscent of 70’s favorites like Carole King and James Taylor.
Based in Colorado’s Front Range for most of the past decade, Pamela grew up in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in a family of classical musicians. When asked about how she started playing music, Pamela recalls, “It’s like that joke where two fish are swimming along and an older fish asks them how the water is. One fish turns to the other and says, ‘what the hell is water?’ In my family, music was always around and part of everyday life.” This lifelong commitment to practice is on display in her ease at the piano and on stage, giving her audiences a sense of safety.
Pamela’s song “Bleeding Me Dry” received the Grand Prize in the 2019 SongDoor International Songwriting Competition. In addition, Denver’s Westword nominated Pamela for Best Pop Act of 2019, and she was a 2021 Finalist in the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriter Showcase. Pamela has performed at venues ranging from The Bitter End in NYC to The Hotel Utah in San Francisco, festivals such as the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Pygmalion, and FoCoMX, and has opened for artists including Lisa Loeb and Danielle Ate The Sandwich. Her current all-female backing band takes her live sound to the next level, featuring Adrienne Osborn on bass, Amanda Morin on electric guitar, JJ Jones on drums, and Kate Farmer on vocals.
Pamela’s forthcoming EP Scorpio, produced by Matthew Wright, is set for release in November 2023. It is her most vulnerable work to date. “I initially planned to title this EP Taboos because the songs all deal with subjects traditionally avoided in polite conversation. There’s a sex song and a death song and a jealousy song and a song about being too sensitive. But Taboos was too general – these are specifically my taboos. These are the qualities I find hardest to acknowledge and accept in myself. And to get a little woo-woo, because hey, I am, they are also qualities associated with my star sign Scorpio, hence the title. I’ve spent a lot of time delving into my shadows, and I’ve come to realize that denying them is not the answer.” The song “Nemesis” describes her lifelong experience with jealousy: The more I try to run, the stronger it becomes. Pamela says, “I really want to be a part of normalizing these topics. They are part of the human experience, so let’s talk about them and help each other feel less alone and ashamed in experiencing them.”
This concert is part of the The Colorado Sound Community Music Series.