Review: Amber Arcades-‘Fading Lines’


Photo contributed

With shoegazing having kind of a revival of late, Amber Arcades fit into a niche which straddles the sad-eyed bittersweet songwriting of 60s girl groups, and the post-punk hypnosis of proto-shoegazers like Cocteau Twins, Pale Saints, My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive. Dutch musician Annelotte de Graaf, who records under this name, was initially mostly a folk singer, but here,she has expanded her palette, having recorded this debut at Strange Weather studios in Brooklyn.

It’s a lovely summer album, and an assured debut.Come with Me and Turning Light feel anthemic, with a headrush of synths and swooning vocals, but it’s Constant’s Dream and White Fuzz which are low-key and fuzzy, emulating a soundtrack to a coming-of-age film montage that never was.

This album joins the likes of Beach House, Landshapes and Best Coast, exploring the sad, dream pop dynamic of breathy girl singers and off-kilter guitars and drum machine raindrop pitter- patters. It’s no coincidence that her photography has the bleached-out, fuzzy quality of over-exposed Polaroids.

Older listeners will recall C86 and The Heart Throbs, Flatmates and Shop Assistants at their sleepiest and most poignant, but this is music with one foot in the past, and one in the present- timeless and hazy, for longer nights.


Photo: Nick Helderman

(Lorna Irvine)


Out June 3rd on Heavenly.



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