On July 11th we featured a brand new band from Nottingham, England called Amber Run. They had just recently released their first single “Noah”, along with its inspiring official video. It only takes one listen – no strike that – it only takes the first verse to realize the talent of this five member band. They play with the continuity and harmony of a group that’s been together for a long time. As we wrote in July, there is a similarity between the bands music and that of Mumford & Son’s, only Amber seem to tilt it more in the direction of folk-pop. Lead singer Joe Keogh has an amazing vocal range and a lyrical ability to pen genuine and majestic feeling tracks.
On July 22nd Will Jones, Tomas Sperring, Joshua Keogh, Henry Wyeth and Felix Archer released their debut EP Noah. Don’t go at this expecting to hear the typical UK garage-band sound, Amber Run delivers music that is more controlled and mature sounding, while still keeping it youthful. In other words, I’m sure their loved in the local underground venue, but they could certainly hold their own on a formal stage, for fans above the age of 30 as well. This is a quality that is important when it comes to longevity. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, this new indie-pop band from Nottingham remains unsigned.
I recently caught up with lead singer Joe Keogh and asked him to tell us more about their start, their music and the future.
DaysTune Q&A With Joe Keogh From Amber Run:
It’s been said here and on other sites that Amber has the feel of a band that’s been playing together for several years – especially when it comes to the harmony…
1) Tell us about the bands creation and leading up to this point today?
We built Amber around my solo project at the beginning. Will and Tom were very much relevant in the arrangement process even at that stage and so it was really easy to create a band dynamic from an early stage. Of course it helped that we’d been playing together for years in a string of awful to average heavier rock bands. Felix and Henry just fitted in seamlessly really as they were both such close friends of the three of us – whilst of course being really talented musicians in their own right. That’s Amber Run!
Your single “Noah” caused a big stir across the web and to date has brought a large amount of attention to our post about you here at DaysTune..
2) Who in the group does the songwriting and what’s the concept behind the song “Noah”?
I (Joe) do the songwriting and bring ideas back to the rest of the group for arrangement and development. I think that once an artist has made his work public he loses all right to dictate its meaning to his audience. Noah, to me, is about seizing the day. An attempt to pin lyrics and melody on the notion of ‘carpe diem.’ To me its not even faintly religious. Which some people find odd. However, if someone wanted to see religious connotations, or any concept at all really, I’d be welcome to letting them explore that. I’d hope our music isn’t a dictatorship telling you how to feel.
3) While we’re on the subject – tell us about “Kites”?
Kites was written about a close friend who got involved with heavy drugs really early on in his life. It was awful to watch if I’m honest – he could have done so much with himself. Again though, I’d love an audience to find their own meaning.
You’ve been compared to Mumford & Sons, Noah and the Whale and The National…
4) What are the musical influences within the group and how does Amber categorize themselves?
Those are some amazing comparisons! Thank you to anybody who said or thought of these bands. We listen to a lot of different music in our band. I’m a huge Coldplay fan but some of the other guys are really into house and dance music, psychedelic stuff, and some heavier rock music. We all really love atmospheric post-rock stuff like This Will Destroy You and we’d all love to think people could hear aspects of that in our music.
5) Still unsigned?Management? (any talks at this point with labels)
We have management yes – great guy and friend. As of yet still unsigned though. Was really important to us to prove to each other that we could get this far by ourselves. It’s been a manic couple of weeks though. So who knows whats going to happen in the next couple more.
6) You met at university, are you all still attending?
Yeah we’re all still there! The calendar for the band is filling up very quickly though. I have no idea how long we are going to be able to juggle the two. We’ll make a decision together if it gets to that point. Being in a band is the dream though. I can’t imagine us turning it down if the opportunity comes knocking.
Five members in the band, friends…
7) Explain the relationships within the band and is everyone on board should things move in the direction of a full time career?
Tom, Will and I all went to school with each other so we all have a pretty good understanding of each others strengths and limitations. Felix and Henry are our best friends and were well before the band started and as such I think we can have a really good discussion should things move in that direction. We all love what we’re doing though – so I’ve no doubt we’ll give it a go!
8) Biggest thing to happen for Amber so far?
Playing Reading Festival was mad. We all used to go growing up and so to play it was a real privilege. Everything thats happened for us so far has been mad though – everything has been happening so quickly!
9) Ep is very strong – how has the release of the EP been since July 22nd and any plans for a full album?
Thanks – really appreciate that. Some of the songs are really old for us so I’m really glad people have got a chance to listen to them. Since the EP release its been mad! We’ve had some lovely messages from people and its given us the opportunity to go play some shows and get some national airplays which is great. As for an album – we don’t know right now. We’d hope to keep the momentum going and have one ready for release in the second half of next year – but you just don’t know in this industry do you?
We always ask this of acts outside the US…
10) Any plans to play in the US coming up and what kind of feedback from the states have you received?
WE’D LOVE TO PLAY IN THE US. And I think the plan is to get over as soon as we can. We’ll push for that to come to fruition – don’t you worry about that. The feedback from the states has been amazing. I think some of you guys across the pond are really getting it – which is brilliant.
You can purchase a copy of Amber’s debut Noah Ep from iTunes now. In the meantime the full record can be streamed below via the SoundCloud player. We’re excited for this up and coming band and expect more great music ahead. Since we have every song the band has recorded within this post today, we’re doing things a little differently. We’re presenting the second track “Kites” as our song of the day for September 12th, but you can listen to them all. Hop over to our previous post to see the official “Noah” video – Here. Check out the bands links below and enjoy, Amber.
Photos: By Permission / Video: YouTube
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