Out Now On Heavenly Recordings
photo credit: Nick Helderman
Following the summer release of her standout debut album Fading Lines on Heavenly Recordings and her recent US tour this past September and October supporting Nada Surf, Dutch musician Amber Arcades is pleased to debut a spirited and propulsive new track “It Changes” on Gorilla vs. Bear. Of the track’s motivation, Annelotte de Graaf explains: “Everything changes, all the time. You think that when starting something new you can kinda tell which way it will go, but you never do. I always try to aim for constancy and stability but things always get messier than I foresaw. And hey, maybe that’s actually what makes it worthwhile.” News of a new Amber Arcades EP is forthcoming.
Recorded at Strange Weather Studio in New York with producer Ben Greenberg (The Men, Beach Fossils, Destruction Unit), Fading Lines was inspired by time, continuity, coincidence and magic. Other inspirations include early-morning jetlag (‘Turning Light’) and an artist’s plans for a utopian city (‘Constant’s Dream’). Although this sounds dreamy in nature (and these songs do posses a seamless, ethereal quality), De Graaf’s dreams are not necessarily rooted in whimsy. In fact they have led to her working as a legal aide on UN war crime tribunals (she currently works in human rights law people who had fled Syria), to inviting strangers to share her Utrecht squat (which led to a friendship and later to her signing to Heavenly), and to spending her life savings on a flight to New York because that’s where she wanted to record her first album.
After researching producers and deciding to work with Greenberg (“the odd one out as he’d produced all this hardcore punk shit”), Annelotte was joined by Shane Butler and Keven Lareau of Quilt on guitar and bass, Jackson Pollis of Real Estate on drums, plus Meg Duffy on slide guitar on the eerie, clip-clopping “Apophenia”. They listened to “a lot of Suicide, Broadcast, Stereolab, Yo La Tengo, The Gun Club…” and worked on the songs that Annelotte had written at home in Utrecht."In New York everything came together beautifully,” says De Graaf. “The whole team, the producer and the band. It was a magical time - writing an album had been an abstract thing in my mind and recording it in New York had been a wild, surreal plan. It never really occurred to me that it would happen until I sat on the plane. I had this money in my savings account and I thought, I’m going to make an album.”
Right from woozy, soaring opener “Come With Me”, the album invites endless interpretations – or simply emotional and physical reactions of joy, loss, acceptance and “the billions of different views there are to this life and whatever we’re doing here”. The result is a dazzling and immersive collection of songs, proving Amber Arcades as an assured and exceptional new talent.
Praise for Amber Arcades:
“A blissful, Stereolab-influenced gem” – Gorilla vs. Bear
"Incandescent glimmer." – Stereogum
"Amber Arcades will pull you under her spell" – Consequence of Sound
"What a damn fine thing it is - as suitable for sleety January days as it is balmy festival mornings." – Noisey
“Swirling guitars intertwine tones as echoey vocals hypnotize the listener.” – Indie Shuffle