Amber Run release their highly anticipated sophomore album For A Moment, I Was Lost on 10th February 2017 via Easy Life Records/Red Essential. The album is accompanied with a 13 date UK tour, allowing the band to share their new songs with their fans as soon as the LP is released.
The album opens with ‘Insomniac’, a song which kick-starts Amber Run’s new venture with a pace much quicker than those on previous album 5AM. They ask “are you lost? are you lost?” repeatedly, reminding me of times when the night has fallen to its knees: you’re left alone and those words are swimming around your mind; you’re too strung out to sleep.
‘No Answers’ swiftly follows, beginning softly but building up into something more urgent and bold. This track, along with ‘Stranger’ and ‘Fickle Game’, were released before the album came out, teasing fans with the new direction Amber Run were taking. The band are more self-assured in their words and their sound, making this a compelling set of songs for any mood.
‘Haze’ is a delicate track that softly confronts the difficulties of living with depression and similar mental illnesses, coming across as cold and detached. It’s a reminder of how depression often manifests in isolation, and those who suffer find it difficult to reach out, often held down by their own dark clouds.
There’s a sense of urgency as ‘Perfect’ starts up, changing the pace once again to something deceptively sinister. The quick beat hides the heavy lyrics until you hear “I’ve gotta be perfect” more than once, making you wonder at what cost.
This is an album full of conflict, reassurance and darkness, fighting back and forth within oneself to stay alive and stay true. It’s an album you will want to listen to alone, but be united in when you see thousands of fans feeling just as you do when those sad songs play.
The LP concludes with ‘Wastelands’, which is easily the most compelling song from For A Moment… The lyrics are bittersweet as they recall the story of unrequited love and the pain of watching someone you love, love someone else. The words “I hope you’ll find somebody who you could love like I love you,” slowly break your heart as you come to terms with what it means, Joe Keogh’s voice somehow offering reassurance in a time of utter loss.
It might seem like a gloomy album, but it is by no means pretentious. Amber Run are humble in their song-writing abilities, harmonising beautifully honest lyrics with ambient guitars and steady beats. They’re not going to sugar-coat the realities of this world but, rather, allow you feel them for what they are.
This is a record which gives you permission to feel, to acknowledge the pain of living and to allow those of us who bear mental illnesses to feel less alone. I’ve always said that Amber Run are the band who offer clarity in a world full of noise, and it’s a relief they’ve kept that true.