“If ambition’s such an ugly trait, then I’m the ugliest kid you know”
Thirty seconds in and you know he’s got it nailed. The track’s called Come On; a swollen, moonlit song of sorrow about leaving loved-ones behind to achieve your dreams. With its inflamed honesty and swollen sentiment, it’s one of the few demos you’ve heard that have instantly managed to touch.
The Ambers Band is the invention of Adam Carroll-Smith. His weary, just-woken-up voice is like a dosed-up, double-barrelled Conor Oberst after being shot with a skull-full of tranquilisers, or Elliott Smith had he swapped the Mid-West for Middle England. Furnishing his acoustic laments with the slightest touches of harmonica and glockenspiel, the songs are bare and breathy doses of downcast contemplation that avoids hysterical angst for something more humble and sincere.
He’ll never win many awards for his lyricism, and the EP can’t quite maintain the same sublime quality throughout; but when the songs are coddled in this kind of cotton-soft soul, you’re willing to forego the deficiencies and recognise that you’re listening to a potentially exciting talent. Let’s hope more sweetness follows.
If you like what you’ve read, you can contact Adam Carroll-Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
8Neil Robertson's Score