‘How To Be Human’ might sound like a grand sentiment but, when you boil it down, it’s the purest conundrum of them all. How to be happy. How to be content. How to find peace within the world and, crucially, within yourself. They’re concerns that plague us all and ones that were at the forefront of Joe Keogh’s mind as Amber Run began to piece together their latest album.
“You know those annoying emails you get that are like, ‘How to become a millionaire in one month’. ‘How to get abs in six seconds’,” he chuckles. “I was like, I wish someone would just tell me how to get by and live on the centre line and how to just continue.”
Amber Run – completed by bassist Tomas Sperring and keyboard player Henry Wyeth – have managed not just to continue but to thrive on their own terms through making music together. They released their debut album ‘5AM’ in 2014 via RCA where they built lasting relationships with a fanbase who had found relatability in their deeply moving songwriting. Signing to indie label Easy Life Records in 2017 for their second & third LP ‘For A Moment, I Was Lost’ and ‘Philophobia’, the band continued building their fanbase organically, inviting open dialogues with songs that often cut to the quick of life’s more difficult moments. Throughout all of this, their early 2014 single ‘I Found,’ has taken on a life of its own; currently sitting at a gargantuan 300 million Spotify plays, it’s been adopted by a new generation of fans on TikTok where more than half a million people have created videos inspired by the track. Offline, the band recently sold out their first Europe and North American tour dates, culminating in their biggest shows to date including London’s Roundhouse before signing to TRIPEL ahead of their forthcoming album.
Hello and welcome to OLC! So can you tell us a little bit about your band, who you are and tell us about your sound?
- Hey! Thanks for having us. We’re a band called Amber Run, three best friends making music we love. Just as our first record was described, you can get a sense of the music we make if you imagine The Script, but a Primark version.
Who are some of your biggest influences and what do you love about them?
- They’re all across the board. I think it’s fair to say Joe takes a lot of influence from folk music, Henry draws from Hip-Hop/R&B/Soul, and I’m a classic rock kinda guy.
You have a new record called “How To Be Human”, can you tell us what can your fans expect from the album and why you decided to name it what you did?
- It’s a bit of a post-coming-of-age story. I think there’s an era in a lot of people’s lives, post adolescence but pre mid-life, where you’ve been working at something for the whole of your twenties, but you start to question the journey and what’s next – what’s the purpose of it all. The title comes from receiving constant spam email guides titled How to become a millionaire in one month’ or ‘How to get abs in six seconds,” etc. Why is there not more of a focus on just How To Be Human?
What song on the album means most to you and why?
- Well the title track is kind of the mission statement, so a lot of the meaning is there. The Last Dance is a very intimate, personal love song
Talk to me about the creative process for the album and who helped you work on it?
- We approached this record slightly differently – written and recorded in the studio periodically over the course of a couple of years rather than all in one big chunk. I think we’ve all enjoyed that process immensely. Ben Allen is our wizard producer, adding all the beautiful ear candy and programming you hear, and Glyn Daniels has played drums on all of our releases after our first album – he is unmatched in his craft.
What sets this album apart from your previous releases?
- It’s better. More mature. And most importantly, filled with No.1 singles.
Where did you get the inspiration for the songs for “How To Be Human”?
- All over – I don’t want it to sound dull, but it’s relatable to everyday life in a personal sense. We write about our experiences – grief, loss, love, anguish.
Are you doing any live shows soon, and if so where can people catch you?
- We sure are – heading out on a UK tour this April, comprehensively listed here:
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Newcastle University Students’ Union
- And we’re planning some shows a little further afield too. But that’s classified.
What does the rest of 2023 hold for the band?
- Touring and promoting the record, with some festivals sprinkled in. We’ll keep writing all along the way too.
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