Here at the Send Me Your Ears Studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from the UK band, The Amber List. Red Lines And Promises was released on April 28th, 2023.
Red Lines and Promises feels like a positive and upbeat song, with a “Wake Up Boo” (Boo Radleys) feel to the drum patterns. Meshed within bright and cheery-sounding picked and strummed electric guitar is a dark and foreboding theme. Underneath all the bouncy positivity of the musicality of the song, the lyrics portray and anger and injustice. The theme of the song being around the murder of Jo Cox, Labour MP, in 2016. It is always a clever and appreciated moment when the lyrics and music within a song are so juxtaposed – a little like Tarantino using a chirpy song during a grisly scene – somehow it works well, and it does here in Red Lines and Promises.
The song starts with a repeated guitar riff and the drums take centre stage and remain punchy and powerful throughout, dropping only a couple of times for brief song breakdowns.
The overall feel of the track is one of, perhaps, The Housemartins. An upbeat folk/rock/Britpop sound which will undoubtedly have everyone on the dance floor. Building into the choruses, the song adds in some extra vocals with great harmonies, more tambourine and more guitar before leading off into an instrumental section.
We listened to the 4m44 version of the track. We understand there is a shorter version – perhaps a radio edit which would work well. Standing at well over 4 minutes, Red Lines and Promises may struggle to entertain commercial radio interest. (They can be so picky about lengths!)
Ideas from our ears
A boost around 60Hz could add some extra thump to the kick drum. Also, the top snare mic is peaking a little at 192Hz so a careful cut here could help bring that under control. Finally, the track is a little quiet compared to other similar releases so a light compressor/limiter and maybe 5dB of make up gain would add extra warmth and volume. From a songwriting perspective, we’d have liked to have seen a little more development within the track – even something as simple as an extra vocal/change in percussion or rhythm for that all-important second verse.
Red Lines and Promises by The Amber List is an upbeat and catchy song which would sit well on a playlist alongside the Housemartins, Lloyd Cole or the Bluebells.