EP REVIEW: Amber Jay – Never Too Far From A Dark Thought
3rd March marks the day that Liverpool’s Amber Jay released her debut EP to the world. Her unique brand of bedroom pop, that often combines wistful synths with a style of dark-pop lyrics that Billie Eilish would be proud of, automatically makes her an interesting prospect.
This EP does a great job of coming across as unique and interesting, as the tracks ebb and flow from subtle soothing instrumentals to throbbing beats that will make you toe-tap like there is no tomorrow.
Lively opener and Killing Eve inspired Pencilled Brims eases you in, with Amber’s softly delivered lyrics accompanied by a throbbing, bouncy bass groove that pursues her voice around the track. Its alternative rhythms and dark vibe create an atmosphere which is honestly quite difficult to describe, but it works exceptionally well.
Her vocal prowess is evident throughout the record. Her young and delicate voice is amazing in Stay the Same, as she sings about her lust for her lover. The production is on point in this track. For instance, one of our favourite moments in this EP is roughly 80 seconds in, when the instrumental transitions into a delicate pool of dreamy sounds.
It is like you are listening to this part of the track from a club toilet, with its suffocated drumming and dreamy synth lines being produced remarkably well. Yet, 30 seconds later, you are pushed back into the venue and greeted by a gentle chorus with the line “I hope the tide won’t change, we’ll stay the same” being stuck in your head for the remainder of the night.
The House continues the theme of dark pop that Amber thrives off – although this track is a slight dip in form. It has some nice production elements with some lovely synths towards the end, but the track never really feels like it goes anywhere, and you are left wanting a bit more. Especially when Own Way is the next track. This is Amber at her best – cool quirky production, enticing lyricism, and a lovely guitar piece by Simon Tong (The Verve) make this her best track. Her lyrics of “your head rests in other beds, I dream of you when you’re lying next to me, my soul sinks from your lack of empathy” are just a snippet of the song writing ability Amber possesses.
Album closer Person is described by Amber as a song about “love starting to seep out like you’re trying to cup water in your hands and there’s no way to stop it draining painfully slowly through the gaps between your fingers.” It goes without saying that the song is emotional and a distressing journey through Amber’s head space, as she comes to term with her failing relationship.
Its minimal production and acoustic guitar murmur in the background lets the listener focus purely on Amber’s emotive vocals and lyrics to great success. This EP is a wonderful start to Amber Jay’s career and sets the platform for a very bright future for the talented singer. It is going to be exciting to see how far she goes, because there is so much potential.
Standout Track: Own Way
For Fans Of: Billie Eilish, Marika Hackman, The Japanese House
Written By: Joe Loughran