Since the release of their critically acclaimed debut album 5AM, Amber Run have had a turbulent two years, but the now four piece indie band are back with unrivalled passion and a sound to match. We caught up with guitarist Joe Keogh to talk about their tour, the brand new album and what they’re most excited about over the coming year.
It feels like it’s been much longer than two years waiting for the release of Amber Run’s second studio album For A Moment, I Was Lost but the long wait is finally over and it’s almost certainly been worth it judging by the first five singles from the album. The incredibly powerful, spine tingling, tear inducing ‘Haze’ is unlike any other track, it’s beautifully rich vocal chords and complete lack of any real instrumentation invite you to see a more personal side to the band. I spoke to Keogh about the meaning of the song.”It is very raw. My little brother was suffering from depression and I was entering a really dark pekoe of my life and that song was my interpretation of what we were both feeling.”
‘Haze’ is perhaps the most personal but for Keogh, his favourite track from the album is ‘Islands’, “I think fans will really love it and it’s definitely one of the most beautiful songs we’ve ever written”. ‘I Found’ was more popular than anyone had ever imagined, it’s been sampled, remixed and now has over 28 millions views YouTube. I asked Keogh if their are any similar tracks on the new album. “I think that lots of new songs rival ‘I Found’ for quality. We could never have guessed the success of I found, it was just a song that we loved, and there are a few songs on this new record we feel the same about so we shall see.”
Asides from creating beautifully, emotive music (mostly when he’s sad and hungover he tells me), Amber Run have also made quite a name for themselves when it comes to making well thought out, powerful music videos. I asked Keogh how they come up with them and if there are any videos from the new album he’s looking forward to. “They are storyboarded against the song and then handed to a director. We are musicians, not directors or videographers so we give a lot of power to the directors who make our videos.”
I think the saying “more is less” works incredibly well when describing the album artwork. Sticking to simplicity, the band asked friend Casey Roarty, who’s worked with Oh Wonder and Meadowlark (who are touring with the band) to come up with the monotone, mirrored design, “he’s a brilliant artist and a guy that we respect a lot.”
The tour kicked off with a sold out show in Norwich and when asked how this tour differs to their last, Keogh puts it quite simply “We are better.” Touring is what being in a band is all about, despite the ups and downs that comes with it. He also informed me of their slightly weird pre gig rituals where they all stand in a circle and scream at each other. “It’s uncomfortable to watch” he adds.
Despite the departure of drummer Felix last year, Amber Run have adapted and grown with the change and have come out on top regardless of being one member short. “It was a difficult moment but it galvanised myself and the rest of the lads and we are better than ever. We are making the kind of music we’ve always wanted to make and all of us are happy, including Felix.”
To see the band in all their new found glory, Amber Run will be playing Bristol’s SWX on Friday alongside Meadowlark. Last few tickets available here.
Check out the video for ‘Haze’ below.