Amber Run released their first album 5AM in 2015 which broke the UK top 40 and earned them a legion of fans.
Since then, the band has somewhat struggled with the realities of the music industry, however, the release of their second album For A Moment, I Was Lost signifies their successful return to the public eye, and beautifully explores the band’s journey thus far.
The album begins with the understated track ‘Insomnia’ however the pace and tone soon pick up as the band’s exploration of a heavier sound is introduced by tracks such as ‘No Answers’ and ‘Perfect’. Although they begin slowly, like the album itself, these tracks soon burst into grungier, darker sounds in which the band’s struggle and frustration are prevalent.
This new sound is exciting and extremely well executed as it is backed up by impassioned lyrics which show the motivation behind this potential new direction.
One of the things that make this album such a success is that fact that this change in the band’s sound is very authentic in the record. Instead of sounding like a commercial, hollow transformation, there is a sense of natural progression to this heavier sound created by the fact that the textbook Amber Run feel of their previous album is not drowned out.
The raw and heartfelt lyrics of songs such as ‘Haze’ and ‘Fickle Game’ add a great emotional depth to the album without consuming it or creating a one-dimensional record. In fact, these songs are notable highlights as they demonstrate the unapologetic honesty of the album and create a real connection between the band and the listener. One notable change from the firsts album is the heavier use of a synthesizer on tracks such as ‘Haze’.
However dubious this may sound, it is employed skilfully and intelligently as instead of adding cheesy pop sound to the ballad it is used to heighten and intensify the powerful lyrics of the song. When combined with tracks such as the beautifully delicate ‘Machine’, which appears towards the end of the record, these songs constitute a stunning collection of ballads which poignantly deepen the impact of the album as a whole.
In contrast, some tracks, such as White Lie take time to blossom as you listen to the album for the second, or third time, as they lack the initial impact found in other tracks. However, as you listen more, their merit is revealed and it becomes clear that they are vital to the records overarching sound.
The album is in many ways a record of two sides as the heavier, more politically charged songs contrast with the peaceful, ethereal ballads which are extensions of the first album.
It has to be said that both sides are deeply successful. Amber Run have created an album that beautifully and candidly explores the journey that they as a band have been on both personally and musically.
It is an album which is full of emotive and powerful music to be thoroughly enjoyed and celebrated.