Amber Arcades: European Heartbreak (Heavenly) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Issue #64 -  Kamasi WashingtonAmber Arcades

European Heartbreak


Oct 08, 2018 Issue #64 -  Kamasi Washington Bookmark and Share

Amber Arcades seemed to be on a trajectory to indie rock fame, building a reputation with a satisfying mix of dream pop and motor driven guitar pop over a couple of EPs and 2016’s LP Fading Lines. Less of a band and more of a solo project of Dutch singer/songwriter Annelotte de Graaf, Amber Arcades has now veered off target.

The reverb-coated rock lullabies from last year’s Cannonball EP mixed just enough grit and grime and atmospheric guitar swirls to the dream pop melodies to make them appealing to both the indie and pop worlds. Unfortunately European Heartbreak has been cleansed of any grit and grime and instead been soiled by touches of folk and country.

While moderately pleasing and not unenjoyable, the breezy songwriting uses gently strummed guitars, hushed drumming, and wispy keyboards as a backdrop for De Graaf’s plaintive vocals. Attempts to breathe some life into the proceedings are made by adding some soft orchestrations and upbeat horns to the arrangements, but this only adds to the diminished appeal. The exception being opening track “Simple Song,” which comes close to the shimmering pop sound of New York trio Ivy.

The other highlight, if there is one, is De Graaf’s honeyed vocals. Although not especially glossy or ethereal, and not fierce or icy, De Graaf’s bittersweet delivery is honest and has an understated elegance that fits comfortably with the music.

While there is nothing unpalatable on European Heartbreak, there is also some intangible ingredient missing from the music. The amiable melodies tend to wallow within the comfort zone of gentle pop with a country twang while never being quite catchy enough to be memorable. Ultimately the uninspired songwriting renders European Heartbreak incapable of being a worthwhile investment of your listening time. (

Author rating: 4/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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October 9th 2018

The gold suit reminds me of Gold Member from Austin Powers lol. Lots of class and seems original to promote when coming up in the music industry.

I will have to admit… I do like it because it’s different from what others are doing and makes you stand out. Just like Lady Gaga with the meat suit. Attention is what it’s all about it just depends how much you get.

Amber Arcades grabbed my attention when I saw her in that outfit