The stakes are high for Amber Run. The Nottingham five-piece create the kind of ornately manicured, chart-baiting guitar-pop that’s created widespread success for Bastille and Kodaline – clean tones, soft Rhodes, multi-tracked harmonies and graspable hooks. Still, the question remains whether they can win the race for the ultimate soft-indie throne: the space where Coldplay used to sit, before their supposed hiatus. Amber Run have the pop titans’ sense of brooding restraint, allowing songs to slowly bloom in clouds of reverb – their run of new singles channel the smoke-and-fireworks aesthetic of ‘Parachutes’ to a fault – but there’s a grittiness in the low-end too, and a higher sense of risk, best exemplified in the feedback and dirty synth surges of ‘No Answers’. Undoubtedly a band who are evolving, and learning to be weirder, the pressure is on Amber Run this year for their sophomore album to establish their position at the head of the pack. For expansive and polished pop, catch them at the O2 Institute and get a first listen of the new material. With support from Meadowlark, a Bristol duo channeling folk-pop melodies through soft, lush production.
Sat 11 Feb, 7pm at O2 Institute, 78 High Street, Digbeth, Birmingham B5 6DY, £12.00 seetickets.co.uk
Published on: Sat 4 Feb 2017