Last year Annelotte De Graaf travelled to the United States to record her debut album. With money tight, no full-time backing band and no record label, the chances of her succeeding looked slim. Fast forward a year and De Graaf (under the name of Amber Arcades) has defied the odds, producing a stunning debut. Reminiscent of of Zero 7 at their peak and Stereolab at their most raw, Fading Lines continually eases the senses to an almost psychedelic state.
‘Come With Me’ is a scintillating opening track, catching the imagination immediately, telling the story of exactly what you can expect from the rest of the album. The title track ‘Fading Lines’ is a song of contradictions, with the combination of a whimsical melody and serious, heartfelt lyrics playing together so delightfully well. Album highlight ‘Right Now’ inspires with dream like energy, subtly picking up the pace and coming off like the distant cousin of French electronica giants, Air. With ‘This Time’, it’s De Graaf’s voice that immediately seduces you, with the music seeming to blend into the background, only to then flip that theme on its head with ‘Turning Light’. Here, the music takes centre stage, soaring with fast paced rhythms. Closing the album is ‘White Fuzz’, a hopeful, idealistic track that feels like a wave of relaxation and wonder.
Fading Lines is a mix of sounds and themes that invites multiple interpretations. De Graaf has used this pallet to craft a breathtaking debut, full of emotion and an understanding of our complex, diverse world. This is all conveyed by an album that is ambitious enough to relax the listener, and to inspire them to think outside the box.
Fading Lines is out June 3rd via Heavenly.