Even considering they are just a duo, Irish outfit The Ambience Affair make music of admirable depth by layering instrumental passages on top of one another. This is by no means a new technique but they have managed to combine the layers beautifully and with space for the songs to breathe. They have also encountered a welcome bit of promotion, thanks to one of their songs being featured on an episode of CSI:NY. After hearing ‘Patterns’, it’s publicity that they well deserve too.
For opener ‘Devil In The Detail’, we witness the passionate bite of Jamie Clarke’s vocals, whilst behind him a strummed acoustic creates a foreboding atmosphere. Along with another tearful turn from Clarke, ‘Malcontent’ also comes equipped with haunting backing vocals, sombre strings and thick percussion encircled by a simple guitar figure. ‘Parting Patterns’ features rhythms like rolling thunder and is a frenetic affair whilst the ghost of glum rock looms heavy over ‘Lost At The Start’, where the infectious intro builds in to a dense framework of gorgeous noise.
At a mere eleven minutes, there’s a definite sense of wanting to hear more. Short songs they may be, but The Ambience Affair live up to the promise of their name with some richly textured arrangements and their complex, multi-layered tunes bode well for any future albums.
The Helio Sequence, Lowlife