A rather difficult band to describe, The Amber Bugs has a rather unique sound to captivate any listener. They describe themselves as “generalists” meaning they are a melting pot of music and this is highly evident in their music. Combining elements of jazz, indie-rock, folk and a ton of other things, The Amber Bugs can confuse your ears but also soothe them. Releasing music since 2018 (at least that’s what’s on Spotify), the UK-based group has experience to their name, also receiving coverage from notable blogs like The Other Side Reviews and Sinusoidal Music. The latest addition to their discography is ‘Could We Be Friends?’
The first single of 2021, ‘Could We Be Friends?’ follows their five-track EP The Year of the Rat – a genre-defying record showcasing The Amber Bugs’ eclecticism and innovativeness. Now, ‘Could We Be Friends?’ continues to showcase their originality as songwriters and musicians. Opening with a soothing, simplistic indie-folk sound, the single draws you in with ease. It immediately feels as though you are tipped into a swirl of sound not caring if you twirl about forever.
Building on the hazy ambience, The Amber Bugs introduce dynamic guitar riffs into the piano-driven track. The use of piano enhances the poignancy of the single as well as proving there is beauty in simplicity. What really draws out the brutal honesty and raw vulnerability is the gruff vocals. A harshness placed over melodic piano tones points out not only the creativeness of the group but also their understanding of harmonies in music.
Despite having a melancholic vibe, there is an optimism in the act of “…putting yourself out there”. As The Amber Bugs ask to be your friend, they touch on elements of fragility and potential rejection but in a sincere way. As I mentioned before, The Amber Bugs are difficult to define but this alternative uniqueness makes them all the more relatable.