"Strike while the iron's hot", so they say, the band Amber Run, with their recently released full-length album, "For a Moment, I was Lost", are doing just that. With the front man, Joe Keogh, hailing from Buckinghamshire (the home of poets TS Eliot and Robert Frost), it's no surprise that growing up in such a culturally rich environment would produce a major talent and that is exactly where the band Amber Run is headed, for world-wide success!
Formed in 2012 at the University in Nottingham, they quickly cultivated their sound and signed to a major label. If you have heard any of their music, it is absolutely no surprise that they have been catapulted into the spotlight. "For a Moment, I was Lost" starts out with "Insomniac"; the song sails through you like a speeding bullet train with its' galloping melody and is a fantastic introduction to the album.
With the next track, "No Answers", it seems quite obvious that this is a story of unrequited love. It gets quite intense just at the midpoint of the song; you can hear and feel it coming from Keogh's voice with words like, "...I want you still, like I always think that I will" and "...I'll be your old romancer, your forgotten partner...", all sung with almost a shouting, dramatic tone that leaves one touched by the words, being sung with such emphatic emotion. Of course, the band behind him is flawless in their support of his quintessential love story.
"Island" is next on the album, and sways slowly into a smooth melody that is the dramatic opposite of the track prior. This song holds the title of the album, "For a Moment, I was Lost" and it gives way to the idea that no one really wants to be an island, as the cliche goes. Yet Keogh also doesn't want to be pitied or intimidated by love. It is a beautiful, flowing melody that is quite calming and truly for a moment, you do seem to get lost in the song.
"Stranger" is definitely one of my favourites of the album; there is a prominent bass that anchors the melodies and harmonies peppered throughout - the words aren't particularly complicated which makes it such an interesting and likeable song; many times simplicity can make for the best songs. And Keogh gets a chance to show off his unique and amazing vocal range; you really are struck by Amber Run when you hear this song and realise what a multi-talented band they truly are.
"Fickle Game"- the name is just intriguing. To be fickle is to change frequently, in regards to one's loyalties, interests or affection. It's a seldom used word but it is absolutely perfect for this song and the message the band is trying to convey, which is that life is NOT constant nor loyal. With merely a piano behind Keogh's voice for the first few moments, it is such a striking song - so simplistic yet complicated with beautiful tiny harmonies behind Keogh throughout the song. It is a song that once you hear it, you will never, ever forget. For not being very old, it is also quite an introspective song, making it all the more impressive. After this song, you have most definitely become a fan of Amber Run.
"Haze" is quite a unique song; it begins with Keogh singing with effects on his voice - letting your imagination wander to the 'haze' that he is describing. It carries itself almost like a carolling song with its' simple melody until beautiful harmonies arise and you begin to understand what the song is entirely about - at one time or another, we have all been in the "blue haze" that Keogh is singing about, a time of unknown sadness that washes over us for one reason or another but it never quite seems to escape us, it is always a lingering presence in the back of our minds that can come about without reason or time. A gorgeous display of harmonies in this song carry it like an undulating wave; it is the most stunning way to sing about such a heavy sadness.
"Dark Bloom" is another of the greats of this album; it is a reminder of a past love that wasn't exactly the sunshine and rainbows we all expected - that although we might "worship" someone, they might not be the one that we thought they could be in our lives. With unique and excellent drumming making its' prominent presence in the song, you forget that Keogh is saying the same few lines over and over; you become lost in the music and the drift and sway of his almost falsetto tone. We all have that one gorgeous and devilish mistake that we make with relationships and this song is an almost soothing reminder that it is quite alright to love someone with all your heart and not receive what you quite deserve.
If you are a fan of the piano, "Are you Home" will become one of your favourites on this album. The piano carries Keogh's voice as it rises and falls, the major and minor chords will strike a chord within you, pun intended! Once again, like the simplicity of "Stranger", it doesn't take many words to convey the emotion that Keogh is feeling. Haunting melodies behind him make the song seem almost ethereal, carrying your subconscious to a place that you do not usually go but you must visit more often. You forget about the redundancy of the repetitious, "Are you Home"'s at the end of the song because the arrangement is just perfection. Another song that will instantly make you a fan of this album.
"Wastelands" is the final song of For a Moment, I was Lost and it ends the album on a melancholy but hopeful note. Keogh reminds us that we can love again, yet we will never forget the ones that have touched our heart in that positively unforgettable way - and that is it quite alright to remember them with kindness and fondness, rather than malice in our hearts. It is a positively PERFECT way to end such an intense album; an album that is a bit dark in a way yet will definitely be a favourite for people who are very cerebral and think about life beyond the borders of a "black and white" world. This is not a world of logic, for Amber Run, it is a world of love, loss, depression and elation. It will be positively one of the best things that enters your ears this year; it is truly an unforgettable album.
Review by Marisa Dymond