Cardiff based Blue Amber is one-part an indie anti-folk post-rock band, and other-part an experimental spoken word project. Their debut EP, The Blue Amber, combines both aspects into a well-balanced album, blending chill DIY ambient lo-fi with cutting lyrical societal criticism.
Its opening track, “The Joe Michael,” acts as a great exposition for the whole album. It builds up slowly, combining a gratingly simple drumbeat and bass, to then be joined with Andrew Noel’s spoken word piece, instantly establishing itself on the fringe:
“Don’t need your postmodern poetry, ballads or epics.
Culture, freedom from the press.
Let’s cut this elongated passion speech.”
It’s brief and to the point, and that’s what I love about it. Continuing onward, it concludes its introduction to the rest of the track:
“Culture, the sequel.”
This no-bullshit line captures the overall vibe of what this project is aiming for. The act of spoken word seeks to establish itself in the idea of change via statement. Their foray into the exploration of new sounds through the scope of experimentalism and the word itself, as well as Blue Amber’s journey to achieve this, makes for a great, and at times intense, listen.
Yet there is still a sense of grounding throughout this album: its lo-fi sound demonstrates a sense of apathy, and as Blue Amber themselves explain, they formed “out of a lack of direction,” a common trait of our generation of artists who have graduated from university with little idea of what to do next. These ideas and sounds blend together, evoking the essence of graduated lives now living in darkened rooms with little idea of what to do next, the only affirmation being that of change.
Feel free to dwell on the notion of change down below: