Album Review: Amber Run – 5AM


amber run 5amReleased April 20th 2015

I can’t believe that it has arrived at this time already. Not 5AM, but that Amber Run are releasing their debut album. It feels like it was only the other month that I was stood in a very muddy field watching them play, what was at the time, their 6th ever gig, back in 2013. These guys have come such a long way and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I didn’t feel excited for them, and a tad proud to see what they have accomplished in such a relatively small amount of time.

While 5AM is full of tracks that are already really familiar to me it’s been put together in such a way that it still feels exciting to hear, exciting to come back to time and time again. Amber Run have also reworked some of their tracks, such as early on single Noah, so that it feels more fitting to the overall feel of the album and also so that it feels fresh to the listeners ears. They haven’t done it an injustice by reworking it though, thank heavens. It’s entirely epic.

Another single, Spark, is eased gently into the album by placing an interlude before it. I’m not often a fan of these things to be honest and this one requires you to have your speakers up pretty loud else you just have a 1 minute track of nothing. I’ve found this out in the car when wondering why the album wasn’t playing – it was, I just couldn’t hear M.F under the roar of the road. When Spark kicks in though it brings with it a roar of its own; sparkling keys and guitars, a pounding beat, a passionate vocal delivery and one of my favourite ever lyrics; “it’s a comma in a full stop’s place, it’s  that where ever I go I see your face”.

Spark isn’t the only track that brings with it beautifully and intelligently crafted lyrics though. 5AM is riddled with them. Singer Joe Keogh has an undeniable talent for putting the oh so common feeling into words with something so poetic and beautiful that it becomes less ordinary. Melodies are also a huge part of 5AM. Each track is distinct and the flow of melody from the vocals, harmonies and instruments all further cement the sentiments behind the lyrics.

5AM is a collection of songs that all boast a quality that means they could qualify to be the next single. That’s no mean feat for a debut album. There are fast paced passionate tracks such as Pilot, Noah, Spark and Hurricane, which are so anthemic that you just feel an overwhelming need for this band to be on a huge stage somewhere. Then there are totally intricate and delicate moments of sadness and joy that make you wish they were playing in your living room just so you can wallow in the feeling with them. Title track 5AM is one of the latter and comes with it’s own stunning Interlude in CF. 5AM is so haunting, not just because of the lyrics and the space within the music, but because of the vocal delivery. Joe has one of those vocals that doesn’t just sing, it bleeds emotion and does so without fear of judgement. It’s sincere. Everything on this album is. The backing vocals also a have a pure sincerity to them, bringing, at times, four beautiful vocals into perfect harmony. This always gives me goosebumps, no mater how many times I hear it, and live it’s even more thrilling to hear. Opening track I Found and Just My Soul Responding are both perfect examples of this. As is Shiver, which does exactly what it says on the song title.

It isn’t only the majesty of the lyrics, the sincere delivery of poetic themes within the tracks that makes Amber Run one of the most exciting and exceptional bands out there right now. It’s the band as a whole. Without individually being one of the best in each of their fields, this band wouldn’t be so exciting. From Henry’s keys, Will’s guitars, Tomas’ bass and Felix’s astounding command of the drums, each member has an equal measure of responsibility in bringing the songs to life. There’s no dead wood here, no one member lagging, only adding a little bit of this or a little bit of that. It’s five guys who were destined to fall into musical love with each other, a bromance that has lead them to putting out their debut album with class and maturity that is far beyond their young years.

Watch the video for 5AM here:

Watch the video for I Found here:

Watch the video for Pilot here:

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