EP: Amber Jay – Never Too Far From A Hard Thought review

by Emma Riley

Introduced to Amber Jay as a fan of Marika Hackman, The Japanese House and Julien Baker, after listening to Never Too Far From A Hard Thought, it quickly became apparent as to why. With its enchanting soundscapes and tempting vocals, Jay’s debut EP acts as a sweet siren – but don’t be fooled by its beauty. Never Too Far From A Hard Thought is an evocative creature set to capture your emotions, and there is an infectious energy that runs through the EP like an irregular heartbeat.

Setting an intriguing tone, the opening track and first release from Never Too Far From A Hard Thought is Pencilled Brims. Blurring the lines between love and obsession (something this collection will quickly stun you into), Pencilled Brims signposts you to Mars – teleporting you into the future with its curious melody. Escaping Area 51 and swinging you back in time, with its 1940s interlude, the visuals for Pencilled Brims are as extraterrestrial as its audio – ‘Everyone has their place, alright!’

 Exclaiming ‘Never too far from a dark thought,’ on Stay The Same, with a nod to its title, the theme of the introvert flows through the EP. Hoping the tide will remain, a heartfelt atmosphere crashes to create a tsunami of emotions. While on The House, she pulls back the curtain, as the bedroom pop artist opens the window to old wounds – weaving intimacy and vulnerability, as its thematic threads are like stitches that come together to piece the remains of a broken heart. It adds the final piece of the raw puzzle – haunting like a ghost of the past.

Represented by the EP’s artwork, each track forms the ingredients to this heartbreak cereal. With its sugary sound, Never Too Far From A Hard Thought provides the perfect start to the day. With swirling hypnotic melodies that snap, crackle and pop, there is a reflectiveness. It is overflowing with painful feelings and discomfort, but there is a confronting of the truth that spills out. It is a transparent and fragile collection. Sprinkled with euphoria and packed with enough nutrition to heal any heartache – forget the most important meal of the day, Never Too Far From A Dark Thought, is yet another candidate for most the important EP of the year.

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