Amber Arcades - Fading Lines - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Amber Arcades - Fading Lines

by Mark Steele Rating:7 Release Date:2016-06-07

A full debut-album called Fading Lines enters the clearing from Psych-Pop's latest dutch import Annelotte De Graaf aka Amber Arcades. She recorded these 10 songs late last year with producer Ben Greenberg (The Men), looking to create a melodically defined record.

Loops of clean delayed guitar arpeggio lines, introduce us to the album  on 'Come With Me', which deepens in reverb-rich layers, leading to the moderate paced compressed motorik drums and pedal bass line. The vocals of Amber are quite carefree and high-end, seeming to give the song a floatation effect. A lighter and almost frosty guitar intro on 'Constant's Dream' , continues the vibe on the opener, yet when the chorus arrives the drums hold a steady off-beat pattern - coupled with distant chimy guitars, keeps the vibe perfectly pleasant.

The upbeat jangly step-up on the title-track 'Fading Lines', has some good ghostly vocal hooks,and credit due the phased lightly overdriven guitars, plus distant eerie repetive guitar riff lines, creating a fixating tension with steady paced drums and bass. From the following track 'I Will Follow',  the album begins to pick up interest on some songs. The guitar layers and drums have a familiar laidback friendly approach, it is more to do with the way Amber's chorus-effect unison melody lines have at one sugar sweet like simplicity, then is comparable to a distant siren calling from within ocean mists, in another.

The electro-bossa nova drum pattern, nimble bass line on 'Perpetuum Mobile' then organ swells plus battery-dying fuzz guitar, create a melancholic party for one. Amber's jazzy echo  vocals come across as Franciose Hardy-esque. The jangly guitar repetitive lines on 'Right Now' , are reverb full and paced, with a possible appeal to fans of Real Estate, and also song 'This Time' could have been written by Martin Courtney of the same band. There is a Cajon or bongo drum pattern all the way through the dreamy guitar layered  'Apophenia', which has an ability to whisk you away into a tropical world for the brief moment.

One of the big highlights on this album, is the song 'Turning Light' . Which to seem to fit a potential new genre - Electro-Krautrock, would not be an great exaggeration. The motorik driving, running alongside some minimal phased synths, which later becomes a touch cosmic. Last but not least is sugary dream 'White Fuzz' with shimmering jangly guitar and tremolo laced organ, underneath whimsical vocals.

Fading Lines has a quite apt summer record feel to it, due to the instrument arrangements, vocal tone and melody of Amber. There are some strong songs on this debut with a definite formula to extract, with visible comparisons to artists such as Stereolab and Mazzy Star. It is with taking these impactive key elements into account, that we could see some quite effective follow-up material in the works.

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