Amber Run

Anthemic indie-rock at its finest

Thursday 15th May 2014

Amber Run released EP, 'Pilot', on September 21st 2014 on RCA Victor. The Nottingham five-piece have just release their debut album '5am', through RCA Victor. The album was produced by Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, Two Door Cinema Club, Foals, Jake Bugg) and recorded in Livingston Studios, North London.  To mark the release they have also just unveiled the video to accompany the stunning title track. Watch '5am' below. 

Amber Run will perform live at Dot to Dot Festival 2015.

When a band’s fourth and fifth ever gigs are playing at Reading And Leeds Festival, something special is going on. That much is obvious within moments of hearing Amber Run, who wowed the startled crowds at the festival, where they were on at the same time as Deftones and Bastille.

There’s a communal spirit to the band’s music, evident in future festival anthems like new single Heaven and the shivering Spark. That sense of community is evident in Amber Run’s five members too, which has gathered since they formed in Nottingham last December. 

Sat in a local café, the band enthuse about Nottingham’s scene – Jake Bugg and London Grammar have broken through, while they praise rising local talent Saint Raymond and Indiana, along with other favourite acts they’ve played with such as Rhodes and As Elephants Are.  It feeds into their philosophy that music should be shared by as many people as possible. “It’s good to have a community,” says guitarist Will Jones. Singer Joe Keogh adds: “If you can bring music you love to a different audience, then why not try to help? There’s so much shit thrown at bands, the last thing you should do is throw more.”

“It’s good to be outside of London,” states bassist Tom Sperring. “The mentality there can be that you only need to play in London and ignore everywhere else when you’re starting out. We’d rather play in as many towns as possible.”  They’ve been helped by the town’s scene too, with BBC Introducing’s East Midlands DJ Dean Jackson helping them land that Reading & Leeds Festival slot.

Touring has since begun in earnest, to their understandable delight. “Above everything else, we want to be seen as a live band,” emphasises intense frontman Joe. “You can spend weeks getting a song right in the studio, but you’ve got to be able to perform it. Seeing a great live band feels even more genuine than a brilliant album.” Adds keyboardist Henry Wyeth: “Because we got signed early on, we’re actually looking forward to having some tough gigs, ones where we don’t get to soundcheck for ages or the soundman doesn’t get it right, so that we can overcome any mishaps.”

Amber Run’s enthusiasm for spreading great music extends to compiling a weekly Spotify playlist. Its selections highlight the clash of musical influences which inform the surprising textures and rhythms underpinning their songs. “People expect us to all be into Mumford And Sons,” smiles drummer Felix Archer. “But our Spotify playlist is always a ridiculous mix. It goes from hardcore metal to drum & bass." 

Which doesn’t mean the five members, all aged 20, are seeking to be obscure for the sake of it. “Our songs are anthemic rock mixed with cinematic post-rock,” explains Joe. “I do have a pop sensibility, because no-one can understand what you’re trying to say otherwise, and you need people to get what it is you’re trying to transmit. As a lyricist, I’m learning how individual words and syllables can change the whole tone of a song.”

Joe’s poignant lyrics are concerned with the big themes in life, from Kites’ despairing tale of a friend lost to drugs to the heartfelt relationship drama Heaven, in which he fears he’ll be “chasing angels all my life.” It was written after two successive girlfriends cheated on him, though Joe points out “My current girlfriend is great!” The beautiful optimism of Spark could almost summarise Amber Run’s own rise, as Joe explains: “It’s about how small beginnings can turn into the huge things in life and realising how far they can go.”

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