Having earned previous support from the likes of BBC Radio 1 and BBC Introducing for her recently shared offerings, emerging singer-songwriter Amber Jay has now returned to deliver her highly-anticipated debut EP 'Never Too Far From A Dark Thought'.
Featuring the previous unveiled tracks 'Penciled Brims', 'Stay The Same' and the newly dropped 'The House', 'Never Too Far From A Dark Thought' makes for an incredibly textured listen. Channelling the bold and diverse aesthetic of acts like Marika Hackman, The Japanese House and Julien Baker, she is certainly set for an enticing career ahead.
So with the new collection available now, we sat down with her to find out more about her background and what has inspired her most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Drums! I started playing drums when I was around eight. I won my primary school talent contest with my drum cover of ‘We Will Rock You.’ Still my greatest achievement to date.
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
I was into an array of stuff. I liked a lot of pop music but also loved the music my dad listened to like the Arctic Monkeys and Amy Winehouse. As a teenager the main two artists I was obsessed with was probably Ellie Goulding and Justin Bieber, that was when I was around twelve to sixteen. I had twitter fan accounts and everything.
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
I wish I wrote ‘I Know The End’ by Phoebe Bridgers. It’s haunting, charming and spectacular. Lyrically so beautiful and just genius. I love the way it builds and just goes off on one. I can imagine playing live is just incredible.
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
I’m trying to write more by producing the instrumental first and then writing on top to see how that changes my style. I've done it a few times and everything turns out being this extravagant orchestral soundscape but it’s still cool and I’m excited to see what I make by approaching song writing in this way.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
I’ve enjoyed listening a lot to Phoebe Bridgers. I find her songs create little visuals in my mind because she’s so descriptive and specific with what she says. It’s kind of like when a song reminds you of a place or a person and suddenly it has all these connotations and it’s not just a song anymore. I recently discovered Holly Humberstone too, oh and I love the new Arlo Parks album. It’s so chill, I kind of have to refrain from putting it on in the car because I lose concentration.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
Ooo more than ten but less that thirty? Somewhere in between. I’ve lost count. I don’t really write about my family as we all get on and I struggle to write happy songs. I’d like to write more about happy, casual and mundane things though.
What has been the funniest or most unusual moment in your career so far?
I did this gig ages ago when I was in a band. We got to the gig and I was looking through the line-up and there was another performer on it who I had a HUGE crush on when I was growing up. They were in a tv show I used to watch and it was the most bizarre thing to look out to the audience and see them watching us play and applauding. Then as we went back to take our seats, I heard them say ‘I should have recorded that.’ Dreams can come true.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
I’m gonna say Billie Eilish. I saw her perform once and the way she bounces about the stage is sick. Such an energy. Also, she’s vegan so I can imagine there’d be a good backstage spread.
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
I think I would’ve gotten into tv/film production. I’m not sure what doing. Either camera work or just being a part of the production team would be cool. I’ve always had a fascination with the aviation industry too, so maybe a pilot but I’m kind of terrible with numbers but I reckon I could still do it. Auto-pilot is a thing right?
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
Focus on making good music that you actually like because the music is the most important thing.
Amber Jay's debut EP 'Never Too Far From A Dark Thought' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in full via the player below.