Amber Arcades enlighten with debut Fading Lines

Fading LinesSometimes, it’s a struggle to balance work and play. But I can imagine that struggle is quite a lot harder when you’re in a band. And harder still if that work is in law. If you can relate to both of these things, you’re probably Annelotte de Graaf, aka Amber Arcades. Annelotte de Graaf, as some kind of empowering and multi-tasking icon, is a legal professional in human rights helping Syrian refugees and has previously been a legal aide for the UN in assisting with war crime tribunals, while juggling a solo music project.

Amber Arcades’ debut album, Fading Lines, has kicked up a storm already in terms of media coverage, as a fresh and emerging new talent. Reigning from Utrecht in Holland, she signed with Heavenly Records by some coincidental twist of fate (her Utrecht roommate worked at the Heavenly studio and suggested Amber Arcades hand over a demo CD) and here we are now; debut album on its way, recorded in New York with producer Ben Greenberg.

Fading Lines is a slow techno folk album which addresses the ethereal, grasping at coincidence, life, utopia and time. But the depth she grapples with in her lyrical thoughts is subdued with a pretty and dreamy layer of soft vocals. Her delicate voice paired with poppy melodies and shimmering guitars flaunt an ethereal album that is both profound yet carefree.

“Come With Me” opens the album with uplifting melody and enlightening lyrics. There’s a pure and airy ambience, especially in her effortless vocals, which is unwavering throughout the album. The title track fits this glove too, but with a more defined drum beat and poppy guitar.

“Right Now” draws on the profound and intertwined unpredictability of life and time. Amber Arcades said in a recent interview that the meaning itself shifts and changes, making it hard to pin down. You’d think these profound thoughts would weigh down the album, but the vocals are so soft and airy that these profound thoughts are merely wonderings in a larger puzzle. It’s this lovely ethos that makes the album so delicate and dreamy.

It’s difficult to understand and put into words the larger, more profound meaning of life, time and coincidence but I think Amber Arcades has had a good crack at defining it with her debut album, Fading Lines. Perhaps it’s her legal background and life experiences that grant her a profound and carefree lease of life, but it’s certainly lovely to listen to.

Release: 3rd June 2016, Heavenly Records

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