With the release of her debut effort under the moniker of Amber Arcades, Dutch musician and singer/songwriter Annelotte de Graaf quickly rose to international attention as the blogosphere and several media outlets praised de Graaf for material that thematically focused on a number of things — including both time and the relativistic experience of it, continuity, magic, jet lag and how being led by her own dreams has inspired the Dutch singer/songwriter’s personal, professional and creative lives. In fact, as the story goes, de Graaf has worked as a legal aide on UN war crime tribunals and while currently working human rights law, assisting Syrian refuges, she spent her savings on a flight to NYC, specifically to record her debut effort with Ben Greenberg, who has worked with The Men, Beach Fossils and Destruction Unit, and a studio backing band that includes Quilt‘s Shane Butler (guitar) and Keven Lareau (bass) and Real Esate’s Jackson Pollis.
Earlier this year, I wrote about “Turning Light,” a single that thematically explores being the protagonist in your own life story while you’re simultaneously a supporting player in the lives of everyone around you — and how those very different roles and various lives intertwine in ways that can be confusing. While sonically speaking, de Graaf and her backing band paired rapid fire, four-on-the-floor drumming, swirling and shimmering strings, twinkling electronics, a driving bass line and de Graaf’s ethereal vocals singing lyrics that reflect the relativistic nature of time to craft a woozy single that draws equally from shoegaze and Brit pop.
Building upon the buzz of her debut album and her Fall Stateside tour with Nada Surf, de Graff and her backing band went into the studio during a brief break on tour to record her latest single, a shimmering dream pop/bubblegum pop version of Nick Drake’s “Which Will” that manages to add a rather ironic take to the song while retaining the song’s earnest yearning.