Amber Run’s first album 5AM was so full of hope and a promise of what was to come from the 5-piece from Nottingham; however, after being dropped from their label, and the departure of their drummer, for a moment, they were lost. Yet, here they are, fresh and exciting as ever. Before the dissection, it’s worth noting that the sound Amber Run showcase on this album is perfectly described by the album cover, as confusing as that may sound.
For A Moment, I Was Lost begins with the pulsating ‘Insomniac’, setting the tone for the record with its heavier style and pure, emotional lyrics such as “does it feel like it was better yesterday?” The pace continues into the aggressive ‘No Answers’, a new territory for the, once delicate, band, featuring a musical build-up consistently aced throughout the album. From here we see an opening up, raw emotional output, lyrically and musically, with the fragile pleas on ‘Island’: “when I die don’t waste flowers on me”, the Jeff Buckley-esque vocal cries on ‘Stranger’ and the desperate duet between singer Joe Keogh’s incredible falsetto and the illuminating guitar line on ‘Fickle Game’. Middle track ‘Haze’ is a stunning a cappella vocoder piece that channels the fragility and aggression heard all over the album perfectly. “I’m a failure, I’m a disaster, and I don’t want to be anything else” is the tagline on the self-deprecating ‘White Lie’, which is juxtaposed excellently with ‘Perfect’ with its appeals to karma for more. ‘Dark Bloom’ is the final example of aggressiveness and building on the album, a last letting go of raw emotion, confessing “I worshipped you”. The final three tracks are the calming and settling of the storm that rages throughout, ‘Machine’ is another demonstration of the fantastic falsetto, asking “Do you love me?”, ‘Are You Home’ maintains this and feels like a conclusion is coming – which it does on the beautiful ‘Wastelands’. The conclusion is acceptance, “I know you’ll fall in love again”, the fade-out of the record comes at exactly the right moment.
The album appears to track the emotional stages that come with a break-up: denial, anger, depression and acceptance. A stunning encapsulation. The ‘shuffle’ function of modern music players is often useful, but in this case, it’s better left alone, to listen to this album at its best you have to ride out the emotions in the order they come. For A Moment, I Was Lost is a whirlwind, a journey of a maturing sound from a band at its most pure.By Will Strickson