åMBe – Enemy Of The People – EP Review
What on earth is not to absolutely LOVE about this? My experience with åMBe’s new EP Enemy Of The People has been a seriously breathtaking one…the innovative approach of this artist is nothing short of stunning and the music is a beautiful mix of rhythm, melody and electro. åMBe’s vocals absolutely soar angelically in ways my ears truly haven’t heard before…and that says a lot right there when coming from the ears of a guy that spends each day listening to brand-new tunes. What she’s doing here though…is truly unique, truly expressive and truly bang-on with its connection to emotional texture – I honestly can’t get enough of this record and I’ve been listening to it intently all day long like I’m never going to stop. I might not. Maybe this is the last review I’ll ever write and stop with the perfection I’ve found in this artist and on this record…this lady deserves an extraordinary amount of credit for some truly brilliant songwriting and execution throughout the Enemy Of The People EP…I suppose that’s what I’m really trying to say, in a nutshell.
Somewhere in between the sounds of Portishead, Massive Attack, Poe and Imogen Heap, åMBe is going to completely land on solid-ground. If you’re looking for a trip-hop sound with more accessibility in the writing and hooks – this is the exact record to pull you in. The music has tremendous depth and is incredibly rich in tones and texture that build into incredible experiences that feel as if you feel them with all five-senses…and the vocals of åMBe never quit being the star for a single second. Even with all the amazing & stunning sounds of the music swirling into the atmosphere around her – åMBe continues to shine with one of the most powerfully unique voices I’ve heard in music. Not this year, not this week – period, full-stop…her voice is absolutely immaculate. åMBe – where have you been all my life?
Seriously – I didn’t even need a full-minute of “IDCNM (I Don’t Care No More)” to finish playing before I was already convinced of just how special what I was hearing was. LISTEN to the way she hits this chorus! The music surrounding her! The beautiful approach and twisting beautiful tones in her voice! I mean…EVERYTHING about this opening is sound as it gets from production to structure to performance. The confidence is astounding…the way that the beat or sound of the music alongside her can change dramatically, yet she’s perfectly resilient in her commitment to the vocal melody and without flaws. The music is as innovative as the way she approaches the vocals…the hooks in the chorus have serious strength and beauty – this is the way to start a listening experience with memorable impact. I could tell right away from the sound of “IDCNM (I Don’t Care No More)” that åMBe would be a name in music I’ll never forget.
“Under Waterskin” starts out with a real minimalist approach to the music and leaving it to åMBe to make the impression with nearly her vocals alone. With just a hint of melody in the music at first, she absolutely hits the mark and carries the weight of this song with her voice; she won’t let you down here and she certainly won’t throughout the length of the entire EP. The atmosphere is intense and enveloping…like time standing-still in order to allow you to truly appreciate the beauty you’re surrounded by. Where “Under Waterskin” might ignore traditional hooks, it completely makes up for with its depth of texture to the sound…there is absolutely nothing else going on or happening in the studio here while this song plays…it’s like a diamond or gemstone you can’t stop staring into. The EP already expresses itself in numerous artistic ways already by its second song…the range of ideas is inspiring.
When “Ache” began…for a moment I thought she was going to reach for something subtle before she unleashes an energy we’ve yet to hear on the record on a more rock-influenced electro-sound. The momentum in this song increases at every turn…the verse is good, the pre-chorus is great, the chorus takes it all right up to the next-level like the audible-cherry on top. With confident rhythm and groove to her voice and the song’s melody – she conquers this song with genuine authority and creates a completely energetic anthem that is sure to make you move. Overall I’d say this is one of the more accessible sounds on the record if you’re looking for anything close to traditional hooks…but hopefully by now åMBe has already pulled you onto her side in her exploration of new terrain in music and the experimental nature of free-expression.
“Peeler” could very well be one of my favorite tracks on the record and a real highlight for me. The way the music bends and shifts…the incredibly blissful & beautiful notes that åMBe hits in the chorus…she sounds extraordinary here. At this point in the record…you really have to kind of shake yourself and wonder if she’s even human…what she’s doing here is reinventing the sounds of music and somehow we’ve all been lucky enough for her to share them with us. The mix of low-end sound and poetic lyrics drifting in and out of the beginning…the additional elements that come into the music slowly…the brilliant mix on her vocals…I mean…c’mon people – this is pure sonic-awesomeness. This cut kind of had a Sneaker Pimps-esque energy to the music and approach…a little bit darker than some of åMBe’s others by comparison in the melody – but that chorus once again provides that uplifting energy that you can’t help but connect with. åMBe has the kind of voice, sound and tone that speaks directly to the core of your very soul – I’m not even remotely kidding.
Because…let me tell you straight-up…what you’ll hear and what you’ll find in this artist is absolutely not something that comes along every day – I can tell you that firsthand. åMBe is an exotic breath of fresh-air and breathing life into the electro/trip-hop genre singlehandedly. Words cannot express just how impressed I am with the overall sound of her music on the Enemy Of The People EP – but I’m utterly speechless when it comes to the insightful strengths she displays on “Little Grain.” That’s purely as good as it gets people…the cautious, tender movements of her vocals will hit you straight in the heart on “Little Grain” – it’s so beautiful it HURTS! When I hear things like how she sings this song…where she adds additional effects and where she doesn’t I just scratch my head in wonder of HOW she has come up with such consistently stunning ways to approach her singing. The instincts that she displays here and the grip on her own signature sound is the kind of magic relationship that takes an artist their entire life to develop…and åMBe is just getting started! Like WHAT? I swear…she’s not human…she is truly an angel of music here to grace our presence with exquisite music and sounds our ears have not yet heard.
There are parts of “Monster (mini.mono.opera)” that are harder to follow than others…it roams into seriously expressive and experimental terrain. åMBe’s vocals bend like a theramin around the sparse beat and innovative electro-elements, building in layers at times and breaking way to extraordinary moments of clarity in sound in the breakdowns. I think that for the average listener…this is probably as ‘tough’ as it gets when it comes to adjusting to the åMBe sound…but for you producer/musician-types out there…you audiophiles like me…you can’t deny that there’s incredible power to this idea & mix.
So much of this is truly beyond-clever. I loved the theatrical opening to “Of Your Crimes” and how it broke-open to an incredible groove and beat combination. åMBe sings with a jazzy-approach to the music, her extraordinary voice is right in the thick of the mix on this one before it takes off into an energetic & wild chorus where she rises above it all. What a voice! I know I’ve said it plenty enough throughout this article…but there’s not a single doubt in my mind that this is one of the most capable and impressive voices I’ve heard in music – again, full-stop, period, end of sentence. The piano and string combinations are great…but I’d be lying by omission if I didn’t say this particular track becomes all about that dynamic approach to the way she sings the chorus on “Of Your Crimes” – it’s 100% awesome.
Sadly…this EP actually has an ending…I wish I could tell you it just goes on forever and never stops but there you have it. It ends definitely with a beautiful acoustic take on the first song with “P.S. I Don’t Care No More (Acoustic).” If there was any lingering doubt about the legitimate authenticity and uniqueness of her voice – let this final track be the one to sell you once and for all. The acoustic elements of the song never leave the melody – but let’s face facts – åMBe is basically on her own throughout this entire track for the most part…and she sounds beautiful from the inside out.
I’ve definitely got more to say about åMBe…and I absolutely want to share some of my experience with you. Be sure to check out episode #013 of the SBS Podcast posting up later today to hear a track from this incredible album…I really think this is a world-class songwriter that needs to be recognized and I’m stoked to play a track from this record on the show and share her with you all. As much as I might want to keep all this beautiful music to myself…the right thing to do is spread the good word…true innovation in art and music always needs the support of the people out there in order to continue, always.
That being said…I don’t think that finding support is going to be an issue for åMBe whatsoever – this is absolutely a future superstar.
Find out more about åMBe at her official pages below!
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