Amber Arcades, “Fading Lines”, “Right Now”, “Turning Light” (Heavenly Recordings)
Amber Arcades is the nom de la musique (is that a thing?) of Dutch artist Annelotte de Graaf, who is set to release her new album, Fading Lines, in June. Lucky for us, three of the album’s tracks – “Turning Light”, “Right Now” and, most recently, the title track – have been released into the ether for your listening pleasure, each showing a slightly different variation on psych-tinged dream pop.
There’s a languid, partly sunny/mostly cloudy (eye of the beholder), gossamer-wrapped melodic quality to both “Right Now” and “Fading Lines”, with hints of C-86 jangle, and bands like Lush, Melody’s Echo Chamber and Trespassers William. de Graaf possesses a light, somnolent voice that fits the mood perfectly, sitting dead center of the mix, accompanied by a loosely strummed, reverb-heavy Rickenbacker (de Graaf penned the tracks, and the album was recorded with musicians from Real Estate and Quilt, as well as Kevin Morby of The Babies). The soundtrack to a wordless car trip through the countryside, shot on over-exposed Super 8 film.
“Turning Light”, while still light on its feet, gains traction through the use of a chugging, kraut rock drum and bass rhythm. The vocal melody reminds me of Broadcast (in particular, “America’s Boy”) and comes off less dream pop and more something from label mate, Gwenno (who we are, admittedly, slightly obsessed with). Train trip this time, then? It’s an interesting twist and bodes well for sound variety on the full length.