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Amber Mark - 3:33am (EP Review)

amber mark, 3:33am, 333am, amber, mark, nyc, singer, songwriter, artist, musician, r&b, piano, ballad, zane lowe, rihanna, justin bieber

Grief is one of the strongest emotions out there, for a lot of people it makes them turn in to introverts. Amber Mark has turned that on its head. After tragically losing her mother in 2013 she released the song S p a c e onto soundcloud in 2016. It is a pretty harmless thing to do, however Zane Lowe got a hold of the track and before she knew it she was in the top 50 viral charts and saw her track among the likes of Justin Bieber and Rihanna on the iTunes pages. With all of this in mind you would expect this EP to be sad, slow and tear jerking, but it's obvious that Amber that wanted to talk about this terrible scenario but still give out some good vibes throughout the record, and she does just that, perfectly.

The EP begins with Regret, a haunting track with overtones that really represent the tone of the record. This is the first big track about her mothers death. However, what really shines here is her vocal capabilities where she perfectly ascends and descends through the notes effortlessly. What this flows into is the big, flamboyant Can You Hear Me? with some horns toting throughout the record to set this scene that almost puts you in a street carnival out of a movie. With her melodies bouncing along the track so soulfully and so blissfully. Once you delve into the track though, this is a really dark track where she's asking her Mother if she can hear her, and she's questioning God. It's a beautiful song, it's a perfect example of a track that sonically is incredibly happy, free going and genuine. But underneath it's very dark and grim. It's a hard thing to master without sounding like you're in-genuine but towards the end of the song you can hear genuine hurt in Amber's voice and it really pulls through her genuinity.

Journey into the Unknown is a song that has no vocals except the howling over a solitary piano, playing the same haunting chords and in many ways that makes this the most atmospheric and emotional track on the whole EP because sometimes sounds speak louder than words. And in this case the piano can almost represent the hurt in her voice without her even saying what is happening. S p a c e is another great song to think she made this and put it onto soundcloud, way before fame and all the glitz and glamour. This a fantastically produced track, with claps consistently appearing throughout the record, but they're only there to drive the beat and the song along and they do that perfectly. This is the best example of a commercial hit on the album, because it has all the elements of a track that could light up the mainstream in the way that it did. At this point on the album it's very easy to see all of the influences that have gone into this record, for example S p a c e has some very obvious R&B/Soul influences with the background singing and the beat, however there is definitely some Jamaican dancehall influences like on the second track with the horn toting.

Monsoon is the most beautiful, soul bearing track on the album as she painfully tells the tale of her mothers passing, and the choice to make her voice the main instrument on this song, with very little instruments was expert, because it really evokes the emotion and the feeling, bringing those raw emotions to the forefront rather than hiding them behind a happier beat. What strikes me on this song as well is the storytelling she offers, she wrote these lyrics expertly. Even the repetitive chorus matches the song perfectly, because it didn't need to be complex or overwhelming it just needed to get the point across. Lose My Cool is a piano ballad turned dancehall song halfway through, I'm not sure that these mix terribly well together, but to take them seperately I love the dancehall part of the song with the drum beat running through it and then coming back in after the bridge. Overall, to think Amber Mark has gone from anonymity to producing one of the EP's of the year within a year or two is absolutely phenomenal, my only gripe with this EP is that it isn't longer, this is one of my favourite releases this year and I can't wait to hear what's in store next for Amber Mark!

9.5/10

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