woensdag 13 juli 2016

Fading Lines. Amber Arcades

This winter Amber Arcades featured for the first time on this blog with her EP 'Patiently' which was received favourably. A clear promise and something to look out for. That something is here. I heard a DJ announce Amber Arcades as the female Jacco Gardner this week. Well, I've listened to both his albums and I'm afraid Jacco is not allowed to carry the seams of her dress. Amber Arcades is so much more alive, so vibrant, sparkling. Mind, I'm only listening in for three songs. That's all, but things will have to turn extremely sour, should I not return to this review announcing to be a fan. Let's come back after listening some more.

In the meantime the single and title song 'Fading Lines' is all over the radio and  has become close to unavoidable when tuning in to 3FM. I notice how well it fits there and how completely fair it is that the song gets this much attention. A great song. I just love the guitar melody that is all over the place and the way the vocal melody is bouncing over it. No power, all subtlety.

Amber Arcades is Annelot de Graaf who packed up her bags after quitting her job and went to New York to record an album. Having a record deal with a U.K. company in her pocket she set out to conquer the world. Looking at her tour schedule this fall, that is about start happening any day soon if she's able to convince live audiences in the same way she does on record.

A few things come together on Fading Lines. Alternative pop meets sixties psychedelia. Let's call it for the sake of ease the soft side of The Velvet Underground, that is mixed with the 60s female singers from France, the "zuchtmeisjes" and 80s guitars of the new wave bands from the U.K. and we are coming close to what Amber Arcades offers. Sweetness with some prickly thorns thrown in for good measure, never knowing which side is going to be offered. A hint of danger under the candy floss.

In a way the title of the late 80s movie (and older book) 'The Unbearable Lightness Of Being' comes to mind. The music on Fading Lines is so light it could be blown away like a feather on the wind. At the same time it has this underlying darkness that is so hard to see through. Part of that mystery is in the fact that Annelot de Graaf's voice at times seems to hide in the music, while the music sparkles but not in a shiny way. What I end up with is mystery that attracts. It makes me want to listen time and again to Fading Lines. Whether it is the slow 'Constant's Dream or the poppy über single Fading Lines, they both attract.

The only thing left, besides that three of the ten songs double with the EP 'Patiently', is that Fading Lines falls prone to some uniformity in the second half of the album. As I wrote, I keep coming back so it is easily surpassed. It may be a point to watch come the second album. For now Ms De Graaf has quit her job as a lawyer and is setting out to conquer the world. Go for it. This is the right album to do it with.

By the way. Watching the video for 'Fading Lines' gave me the idea, for the very first time in my life, how cool it could be to jump from a plane. It must give a sense of total freedom once falling down. Great video by the way.


You can listen to 'Fading Lines' here:


or buy Fading lines at Bol.Com:

1 opmerking:

  1. We received a message on Twitter from @AmberArcades reading "Great read, thank you <3". You're welcome.