I don’t know what they’re putting in the water in Nottingham these days, but judging by the outpouring of new acts from the Queen of the Midlands over the past few years, they’re definitely doing something right. Indie-pop five-piece Amber Run are the latest in a string of great artists to emerge from the city, and already having been snapped up as a BBC Introducing band as well attracting an established fanbase, the future looks bright – the future looks amber.
The band’s debut album, 5am, is set to be unleashed on the world this week after a scattering of EPs here and there, and just in time, as it’s the perfect record to laze around with a cider in the sunshine to. Opening with the simple ‘I Found’, Joe Keogh’s vocals really shine as the track gradually builds to its powerful crescendo, before dropping back down to a soft instrumental break with ‘M.F’. Smoothly sliding into former single ‘Spark’ with a little tinkle on the keys, an energetic Keogh chants to “Let the light in” and has you stamping your feet and shaking your hips to the stimulating electric riffs knocking around in the background, before blowing you away with the uplifting ‘Hurricane’.
‘Noah’ is a feat of fantastic storytelling and a sing-along classic rolled into one, really showcasing Keogh’s impressive vocal range; along with ‘Pilot’, the two tracks contain a plentiful buffet of motivational mantras for young fans, accompanied by hooks powerful enough to keep it from getting too cheesy.
Title track ‘5am’ and single ‘Just My Soul Responding’ are the real stars of the album, the former a simplistic but emotive piano number which is a little haunting but makes for perfect easy listening; and the latter packing a real punch with a thumping drumbeat throughout.
Rounding up with the almost Kodaline sounding tender acoustics of ‘Shiver’ and the promise to ‘See You Soon’; packed with rousing, atmospheric anthems and drifting melodies, 5am is a pretty special concoction of youth, love and loss that will have a firm place in your summer soundtrack this year.
5am is out now on RCA Records.