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It’s that time of year again when the radio stations, music magazines and the like put together a list of potential breakthrough artists of the coming year. Here at SCAN we believe that music suggestions aren’t just for New Year but instead warrant a place in every issue hence my ‘You Need to Know’ feature. So to kick off 2014 I think you need to know Amber Run.
Just like one of 2013’s most successful breakthrough artists London Grammar, Amber Run was formed whilst the members were studying at Nottingham University at the end of 2012. A powerful cover of Imogen Heap’s already heart wrenching track Hide & Seek proved to be a catalyst for the band’s continuing emergence. Last summer the five-piece released their own original material for the first time in the form of debut EP, Noah. Since edging ever further into the limelight, Amber Run’s contemporary indie-folk style has seen them being compared to Noah & the Whale, To Kill A King and Mumford & Sons with the same uplifting chorus lines and orchestral flurries whilst Joe Keogh’s vocals have drawn parallels to that of Bastille frontman Dan Smith. The EP’s title track became a serious new favourite of mine. It has a certain understated majesty about it. The crisp opening, vocals are twinned with a steady piano undercurrent. After the mature intro, driving percussion and a xylophone kick in for a more upbeat feel. You get the feeling from Noah that every single second has been thoroughly thought out. Accompanied by Kites, the most conventional indie-folk song on the record, the intricately layered Little Ghost and Champion, a song that would not be out of a place on the soundtrack of a Hollywood blockbuster, the Noah EP is a thing of undeniable beauty! Recent new single Heaven has continued with the welcome freshness, sheer energy and powerful soft rock feel that saw them picked up by BBC Introducing for last year’s Reading & Leeds festival. With a new EP out this month and a ‘big support slot’ booked for March (although the band are keeping tight lipped about who at the moment), I’d say your money would be safe on Amber Run become a familiar name in the coming 12 months.