I remember sitting on the cold concrete stairs of a bank in Melbourne city with my father and listening intently to a duo busking. We’d been heading back to the hotel after a visit to the southern capital for a basketball game. I couldn’t walk past these guys. Even with the trams and traffic, they’d captured a keen crowd enjoying their chilled vibes, subtle harmonies, and casual Sunday meandering. I bought the self-titled EP of Amber Isles’ duo incarnation that day, using it regularly since in the comfort of my car to settle busy days or after restless sleeps.
Just in time for Christmas, Amber Isles released what they’re calling their debut LP, Running, after recording it DIY out of suburban Melbourne and having it mastered out of frontman Max Fotheringham’s homeland in Brussels, Belgium. Now a five-piece, the band deliver atmospheric guitar-driven post-rock. The occasionally instrumental offering is perfect for relaxing time, mixing catchy melodies with Fotheringham’s earthy baritone vocals that feel like they’re exhaled rather than sung.
Breathe in. Pause. Breathe out slowly.
Running is primarily driven by that ambient rhythmic guitar but flirts interestingly with keys here and there as well as a rare female vocal from time to time, a bit of horn on a few tracks, and a cool Hammond sound in On The Scene which is a highlight track.
Amber Isles new offering is well worth the listen, particularly for holiday relaxing times. It’s available on bandcamp now.