Amber Run have returned with a beautifully depressing second album. Scrapping their guitar roots (very similar to the likes of Kodaline), the Nottingham four-piece have opted for a new, complex sound laced with emotion. Utilising smooth pianos, harmonies and simple guitar riffs sporadically rearing their head, each song is enriched with a touching vulnerability.
Presenting a constant battle between a person and depression in painfully honest terms, the minimalist tone of songs like ‘Haze’ and ‘Fickle Game’ forces full attention on lead singer, Joe’s, lyrics. Recently, the band has openly talked about their struggles with mental health; such problems are all too evident in the album. Amber Run have managed to harness their darkest thoughts, plunging the listener into the very personal internal struggles of the band’s consciousness.
The telling title comes from a period of confusion in the band’s life. About a year ago, Amber Run’s manager informed them that they were being dropped from their label (Sony). On top of this, Felix Archer, the band’s drummer, decided it was time to move on and leave the band. Instead of simply giving up, the four remaining guys decided to push on and create another album without knowing what the future held for the band.
Although repetitive in parts, the monotonous lyrics help illuminate the obsessive nature of mental health. The constant recycling of “I’m a failure, I’m a disaster and I don’t want to be anything else” in ‘White Lie’ acts as a mantra, trying to convince the listener that the band is okay. For anyone who has been touched by mental illness each word seems to ring a bit too true.
For a moment Amber Run may have been lost, but now they have most definitely found their feet.