Friday 17 April 2015

Album Review: Amber Run - 5am

Amber Run - '5am' Tracklist
1. I Found 2. M.F. (Interlude) 3. Spark 4. Hurricane 5. Noah 6. Pilot 7. C.F. (Interlude) 8. 5AM 
9. Just My Soul Responding 10. Good Morning 11. Shiver 12. See You Soon

Released: 20th April 2015 via RCA Victor

Rarely does an album opener bring with it such emotion than that of Amber Run's delicate and harmonious intro. Setting the scene early for its plaintive narratives ahead, with each piano key strike there's a definitive pull on your heart-string as you fall amongst its rousing backdrop of synth-pad ambiance. It's not long before I Found's tempo gradually begins to pick up though and you're quickly thrown in to its slowly crescendoing amalgamation of thunderous percussion and aspiring vocals. Sincere and honest, the Nottinghamshire-based quintet most certainly know how to deliver their emotionally fraught work in painstaking detail.

Brought to my attention two years previous with the glowing and high spirited Heaven, Amber Run have seen a rising growth to their fan base through a string of EP's, relentless touring across the country and their thought-provoking cinematic videos, all in the lead up to the release of '5am', their long-awaited debut album.

Injecting a breath of fresh air in to a scene that's forever at risk of becoming stagnant, their distinct use of twinkling key notes is carried forth in to Spark, a track that has been on continuous loop since first getting shared almost a year to the day. Not ones to regurgitate hasbeen ideas, their chug of guitars burst in to life with an undying energy set amongst its roaring percussion. Glowing with a transcendental light of pure radiance, Joe Keogh's vocal cries do their utmost in keeping things grounded as it reaches its climatic peaks, all before Hurricane readily sets things off in to a spiralling pop perfected whirlwind.

Elsewhere on the record, with an ever blossoming maturity, 2013's Noah gets a thriving re-work as its tightened vocal and percussion alignment set alight to the the track's exploding fireworks."You've gotta get busy living or get busy dieing" may seem like a clichéd line but life really is too short to while away time spent overthinking the less important things. With that in mind, what better better pick me up to have than Pilot. Treading in to more upbeat waters, its skippy percussive hits and jangly basslines splash their awakening on to an already colourful and vibrant canvas of uplifting melodies. Hopeful and hell-bent on optimism, if you're not filled with an energising elation then something's gone wrong.

Enjoy it while it lasts though because even the interludes here are tainted with a tear-jerking lamentation - evidently showcased on C.F.'s haunting atmospherics. As far as records go, '5am' truly is a masterclass in heady breath-taking indulgence. On the one hand it's so incredibly beautiful, but with it comes a distancing bleakness that aches with yearning - effortlessly demonstrated as we fade seamlessly in to its title track. A song made seemingly for the moments you step out from the club in the early hours, sunlight breaking through the clouds as you make your way hazily back home - it's for the finger snapping realisations that your drifting through life must come to an end. This really is self-reflection of the highest degree.

From the epic drum rolls and passionate deliverance on Just My soul Responding to the upbeat palatial tones on Good Morning, Amber Run seem to know exactly where they're heading with this diverse and unrivalled ambition. In all honesty, they've done a fair job at covering all bases of emotion. By the time penultimate track Shiver rolls around, there’s barely a sentiment that hasn't catalogued as its touching lyricism and shimmering cymbals glisten amongst all the softly plucked guitar strings.

Ending with a dizzying nod to a city they once left, See You Soon is a cathartic embellishment of everything the Nottinghamshire born now London residing band stand for. As with most things, the bright lights and bedazzlement may astound you at first, but when the buzz wears thin you'll never forget where your heart lies. With a debut album showing this much promise so early on, it's going to be an exciting time ahead for the young five-piece. What's essentially a hedonistic existence of all the late nights and the early morning's that follow - '5am' serves as the perfect ode to our adolescent years. With all the naïveté of falling in to and out of love that we'll experience, the parties, the moments when life really gets to you, let this be your soundtrack.

**Amber Run's debut album '5am' will be released on February 20th 2015 through RCA Victor**


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