Artists' Albums of 2016: Amber Arcades
Amber Arcades’ Annelotte De Graaf has a lot going on in her life: her hard work as a lawyer, and her hard work required to release the critical smash hit debut – TMF’s Albums of 2016 – album Fading Lines. (Read about this dream pop influenced album and her wider background in a fantastic in-depth TMF interview.) As required by her jobs, Annelotte’s a pretty good writer on top of her good ear for music, read snappy descriptions of her favourite albums of the year below.
I'm not gonna pretend to be very objective on this one, Quilt are my buddies and I love them and what they do but also this album is just incredible. The songs are just the most sneaky ear worms, nestling in your brain more with each listen, never blatantly shouting out their brilliance but letting you discover it on your own.
Creepy, fascinating, eerie, comforting, challenging, haunting music, all at the same time. Plus her voice is just utterly beautiful. It's crystal clear, sometimes almost like a child, but also with so much depth and mature calmness in it. Plus she challenges basically every known idea about how a female artist should profile herself.
Probably my most-played record of the year. The first couple of times I listened to it I found it intriguing, I couldn't quite grasp all that was going on but found it fascinating none the less. It really is like a musical puzzle of some sorts, endless patterns and lines overlapping, being repeated, once everything starts to fall in place it's sublime. Some of the most musical stuff I've heard in years.
I only listened for the first time to this album last week, but I've listened to it almost every day ever since that first listen. Just incredibly elegant, striking, impressive 70s style ballads with enough modern twists to keep it relevant for the "now".
Just saw these guys live last week at Le Guess Who Festival and that only deepened my love for this album. Kind of Deerhunter meets Sonic Youth incredibleness.