Album Review of Amber by Youth for Slow Culture

ALBUM REVIEW #16 – Youth, Amber

According to the band: Youth is a vintage journal that you’ve just bought at a local flea market and began filling with beautiful words. Something you carry with you at all times along with your favourite pen. Tucked inside the pocket of your oversized Thrift store cardigan.

The LA-based band released Amber in November 2019. At the time, the album felt like sweet sunrays in the cold winter. What really aroused our curiosity was the gap between the visual identity of the band and the music they recorded. Incongruity generally leading to fascination, Amber has been following us daily (and digitally) for the past three months. 

Youth, Amber: our review

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What to expect: notes on the Youth formula

With Amber, Youth doesn’t necessarily revolutionize dream pop. Who needs a revolution when the music feels good as it is? Amber is a strong collection of songs that seemed to have been recorded at different places and times, which reinforces the listener’s ability to mentally travel as the songs slowly reveal the power of the whole album. Storytelling is the key here, and space is given to the listener to imagine its own story. No pre-formatted feelings in sight.

We especially liked the effectiveness of the drums, following simple patterns to highlight the hypnotizing effect of rich guitar loops (as in Contact, Under the Sun and Swim Reaper). As a coherent ensemble that could be mistakenly seen as a lack of inspiration, some songs echo each other in a really beautiful manner. 

As a mild regret, we would have loved to be given the opportunity to appreciate the vocals more. As often with the genre, the vocals are somehow buried and only reveal glimpses of  their full capacities.

Youth promo picture for Slow Culture

General thoughts on the production of Amber

As aforementionned, Amber is a strong collection of songs that seemed to have been recorded at different places and times. This can be slightly deconcerting since the production orientations can differ greatly, but here’s what it shouldn’t matter:

  • Youth’s songwriting qualities can’t be overshadowed because of production matters.
  • Limitations in terms of production generally boost creativity, and this is proven with Amber.
  • Perfection can be discouraging for new creatives and their fear of competition, but bands like Youth are screaming “you can do it”. We are so glad they did in the first place.
Youth Amber album cover art

Youth, Amber, already available.

Written by  Marc Louis-Boyard for Slow Culture

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