For the second DIY/LMW Breaking Out show featuring blissful Dutch singer-songwriter Amber Arcades with some terrific support, our own Jack Cinnamond arrived hyped and left more than satisfied.
This year’s DIY/LMW shows are jam-packed full of upcoming acts that are bound to make it big tied with wonderful local support but tonight’s Amber Arcades seemed to be the black sheep of the bunch, the lesser-hyped oddly enough since the Heavenly Records roster member released a brilliantly done debut album midway through this year accepted many critics and fans alike, but while Amber Arcades (the moniker of multi-instrumentalist Annelotte de Graff) preformed to a small audience, she didn’t disappoint.
But first, opening to a slowly arriving audience was the fun, melodic Bathymetry, a sure-fire band to get anyone moving with their tried and tested live energy and guitar lead dream-pop setlist, while bassist Emily Garner seemed to have issues with her bass and amp early on, all seemingly started to get tighter midway through. Oddly enough, the usually glittery Bathymetry seemed a tad more aggressive tonight bringing somewhat of a punky edge to their set.
Shortly after, the returning AGP took to the stage for the first time since December 2015 backed by a live band. From the opening, the writer-producer seemed nervous and a tad rusty, but quickly blew that off. His band brought a more dream-pop/rock feel to AGP, another stratosphere from his DARK ABBA EP from earlier this year. While AGP didn’t seem to land a big abrasive splash he certainly blended well with tonight’s theme, I’d be more than happy to catch them again and following a change from the evasive response earlier to the final honest applause by the audience that many would too.
The final support, local standouts Feral Love stepped onto stage to preform a delightful yet short set. The two-piece have stood out in 2016 thanks to the band’s unique sound, frontwoman Adele Emmas‘ stunning vocals and notable sets at From Eric’s To EVOL, their Buyers Club set for Now Wave and their short trip to POP Montreal but something was amiss tonight, the quick set seemed over before we could clap, disappointingly. However Feral Love‘s track record suggests the act usually give more and I’m hoping to get more in the future.
To end the night, one of modern music’s most interesting characters Amber Arcades preforms backed by her band. By-day working for the United Nations in her native land, by night headlining a DIY/LMW show. It’s a strange a wonderful story.
Amber, quickly played us through tracks of her recent acclaimed debut, after kicking off with “White Fuzz”, she proved her chops to the small audience. Her elegant guitar playing and simplistic stage mannerisms were perfect around her shimmering indie-pop sounds. Later playing a loose interpretation of Nick Drake‘s “Which Will” to a delight, before ending on her great “Fading Lights”.
Words by Jack Cinnamond, photography by James Ainsworth.