Dork Radio
Now playing:
In the mag...
Featuring Arlo Parks, Cavetown, Everything Everything, Aluna and loads more.
Order a copy
September 2020 (Arlo Parks)
Album review

Amber Arcades - European Heartbreak

Her second album contains a real maturation of sound.
Label: Heavenly Recordings
Released: 28th September 2018
Rating: ★★★
Amber Arcades - European Heartbreak
Published: 3:12 pm, September 26, 2018Words: Katie Pilbeam.

Political music, in its nature, is often specific to the artist making it; there is no one form it should take, or rules as to how it should sound. Amber Arcades’ second album ‘European Heartbreak’ is a testament to this, a heartfelt confession birthed from the uncertain and unstable times we’re living in.

“Goodnight Europe, no one really got you I suppose it’s hardly a protest but I’m sad to see you go”, laments Dutch-born Annelotte De Graaf on the album’s lead single ‘Goodnight Europe’. The initial release of this track implied not only a gentler and more considered approach than the higher tempo dream pop of her 2016 debut ‘Fading Lines’, but also a hint at the themes of love, identity and nationality covered by her new record. As European in style as the title proclaims, the songs come together in a sophisticated journey across the continent. You can hear the album subtly sonically location hopping, whether among the Alps or in late afternoon sunshine along a Mediterranean coastal road, it fluidly moves between the soothing likes of ‘Oh My Love What Have We Done’ and the more upbeat ‘Where Did You Go’.

In contrast to this musical cohesion comes the more jarring exposure of the reality often hidden behind the façade of romance. The hypnotic ‘Self-Portrait In A Car At Night’ paints the cinematic image of ‘the road stretching out like a dancefloor’, while Arcades simultaneously reflects on the pain of endings. This hurt manifests in many senses across ‘European Heartbreak’, reflecting the experiences that come with trying to find a sense of belonging when things begin to fall apart.

Her second album contains a real maturation of sound, which sees Arcades at her most self-assured. The introduction of horns and strings give the work a real depth of body, echoed across the many layers to dive in to across the record. Her identity, as European and more importantly as a musician has never been stronger.

Give all this a try

Be No Rain: Stuck at prom
Feature

Be No Rain: Stuck at prom

London’s Be No Rain loves a great big, cinematic idea - and his debut album more than delivers the goods.
Any Other Questions with... Rachel Chinouriri
Feature

Any Other Questions with... Rachel Chinouriri

Oasis, Toys "R" Us and avocados: Rachel Chinouriri tackles this month's daft queries.
Baby Queen: "I've settled on this word, anti-pop"
Feature

Baby Queen: "I've settled on this word, anti-pop"

Baby Queen is challenging the preconceptions of pop.
A day in the life of... Tom Rees from Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard
Feature

A day in the life of... Tom Rees from Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard

From dusk 'til dawn with your favourite acts.
Like this? Subscribe to Dork and get every issue delivered direct to your door anywhere on the planet.
CONTACT PRIVACY ADVERTISE

© 2018 The Bunker Publishing