Amber Arcades

Cannonball

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AllMusic Review by

Amber Arcades' debut album, 2016's Fading Lines, was an unassuming gem of an indie pop surprise. Annelotte de Graaf's lovely way with a quiet melody and the easygoing nature of the arrangements and production (courtesy of the Men's Ben Greenberg) made the album go down like a smooth summer cocktail. While Amber Arcades were on tour in late 2016, they stopped by the studio and reunited with Greenberg to record this five-song EP. Cannonball has all the hallmarks that made the album such a treat, with a slightly scruffier live-band sound. Kicking off with a sprightly, shockingly poppy version of Nick Drake's "Which Will," the rest of the EP keeps things light and polite, while proving that de Graaf did not exhaust the well as far as songwriting goes. The four songs she composed for the EP are just as strong as anything from the album. The almost-rocking "It Changes" features some rugged double-time drumming, wiry guitars, and insistent, yearning vocals. It sounds a little like Netherlands compatriots Bettie Serveert and shows that Amber Arcades aren't just the soundtrack for sleepy, lazy days and nights. Of course, the remaining three songs are exactly that, with de Graaf crooning quietly, the guitars jangling peacefully, the drums laying back admirably, and lush synth pads smearing the edges of the arrangements. The EP is a nice companion to the album, notable for its sweetness and simplicity while also reminding folks that Amber Arcades are still around and still sound like honey and dreams.

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