After two years, Amber Run is back with their third studio album, Philophobia. It’s a 38-minute mix of emotional vulnerability, fast indie beats and beautiful melodies. Named after the fear of love, the whole album deals with an emotion that’s scary and awful and beautiful, and something all of us experience in some way.
As can be expected both from the name and from Amber Run in general, the album is somewhat angsty; it’s a very good post-break-up-soundtrack (which we all need sometimes). The best break–up song in my opinion is “Affection”. Filled with angst of how love “always turns out the same”, this haunting track is exactly what you want to listen to while lying on your bed, staring at the ceiling and feeling sad all over.
“Neon Circus” and “No One Gets out Alive” are other songs with relatable messages of anxiety and an existential crisis: “will you help me understand why I’m here and alive”. Furthermore, they also offer an answer to the question why we love; we need a human connection to survive this crazy rollercoaster of life, all the ups and downs of it. Life is scary and hard, but it gets a bit easier once you share it with someone you love – or at least that is Amber Run’s view on it.
But why is love so scary you need to write an album about it?Because love hurts, and nevertheless you cannot let go even if you’d want to. It makes people feel happy and sad and confused. All this can be heard in the lyrics of “Carousel”, a great guitar-lead track. More than any other song, I think it’s “Carousel” that best conveys all the aspects of love; the hurt, the fear, but also the beauty. Another similarly more positive track is “I Dare You”, inviting the listener to jump into “the sweet unknown” aka love. One of the calmest songs on the album, it reminds one of their hitsong “I Found”, and in general just works.
However, some songs on Philophobia sound too much like I’ve heard them somewhere before; “What Could Be as Lonely as Love” especially. And even though I enjoy the faster beats, the slower songs are Amber Run’s strength (at least in my opinion), and I wish there were more of those. Still, Philophobia is a great album, filled with fresh new sounds and enjoyable reactions to the emotion which has inspired humans through the ages
[Elsa Lindström – she/her – @elsary]
[image credit: Daniel Alexander Harris]