Cardiff based group Blue Amber are built on a foundation of free jazz and post-rock with vocalist Andrew Noel’s aggravated spoken word style centre-stage.
The seeds of Blue Amber were first sewn in 2014 when Andrew Noel, returning home from university, first recorded a number of solo bedroom demos inspired by Neutral Milk Hotel, Kendrick Lamar, Feist and The Velvet Underground as well the work of the Beat Generation. Following a move to Cardiff, the project eventually grew into a five-piece, releasing The Blue Amber EP in 2018. They have performed a number of shows in the capital, including sets at Hub Festival and Cardiff Psych & Noise Festival. Releasing two singles in the past year. They are currently working on their debut album.Today they have put a lockdown mix together for us below
Phoebe Bridgers – Kyoto
Drew: I love Phoebe Bridgers’ music, and I’ve had ‘Kyoto’ on repeat lately. It’s probably one of her most upbeat songs yet, but still has those emoted vocals that Phoebe does so well. I’m very excited for her new record, it’s one of the things I’m looking forward to the most at the moment.
Sonic Youth – Little Trouble Girl
Drew: I read Kim Gordon’s book Girl in a Band during lockdown, and realised that I had some serious holes in my Sonic Youth knowledge. I checked out Washing Machine; it’s incredible and I’ve listened to it a few times in the last couple of weeks. ‘Little Trouble Girl’ has to be one of the best songs Sonic Youth have ever done. I love Kim’s semi-spoken word vocals in general, but on there’s something really special about her performance on this track.
of Montreal – Cato as a Pun
Elin: Chose this song because it mentions shaving your head, which is all anyone seems to want to do in lockdown, but also because it very well captures the whole vibe of being cut off from the world.
Kate Bush – Cloudbusting
Elin: Kate Bush singing “I just know that something good is going to happen” is all that’s kept me going some days.
Gorillaz – Humility
Elin: Real groovy song! For me it encapsulates the feeling of trying to keep a positive outlook through trying times
The Isley Brothers – Choosey Lover
Kumar: This is the first track on the album Between the Sheets. This is the sort of album where every song is an absolute classic. The way the band play together and complement each other is what every band should aim for.
Paul Brady – Arthur McBride
Kumar: A beautiful folk tune that will move the most hardened person to tears. There aren’t words that give it justice. If you like songs that have a dig at British rule then this should be your favourite song.
The Isley Brothers – Brother, Brother, Brother
Kumar: Another great tune by the Isley Brothers. This really shows their versatility as a band. I urge you to go through their back catalogue. You’ll see that they have played every kind of soul music ever created at some point in their long careers.
Hayley Williams – Why We Ever
Freyja: Aside from the funky bass riffs and the instant sing-along-ability, the song is about reflecting on the past, (in particular a past relationship/friendship) which most people have really been able to do in quarantine, and the heartache of not being able to communicate properly.
Dan & Drum – Yippie Ki Yay
Freyja: One of the sunniest-sounding songs which kept me positive during the less summery days in quarantine, and now approaching summer it’s kept me looking forward to spending time with friends and family once it’s all over.
Image by Munroe Page