Sunday, July 19, 2009

Amber Dust

Describing themselves as "alt folkie something or other" is the duo/sometimes trio known as Amber Dust. From their website:
Jesse Nickerson, Shayne Greene and Mike Harvey formed Amber Dust in April of 2005. For the next several months, the band rehearsed and worked on bits of songs, in hopes of understanding the direction that was to be taken.

The recording sessions for what would later become "Without Windows" began in December of 2005. Due to the fact that there were only 3 members of Amber Dust, rehearsing the songs with all instruments was completely impossible. Most of the songs only contained a handful of ideas before they were put to tape. It was only through multiple overdubs that most of the tracks began to take shape. Recording continued until late October of 2006. In all, about 18 tracks were recorded.

"Without Windows" was released on November 30th, 2006. Since the release, the album was voted #33 in the Gambler Awards. The album received an "A-" rating from Hippo Press album review columnist Eric Saeger. Amber Dust took December and most of January to relax and regroup. During this time, due to a change in location almost 2 hours away, Mike Harvey felt it was best to leave the band. There were no hard feelings, and he is still very much involved with Amber Dust behind the scenes. The rest of the band decided to stick to two members and leave the primary piano spot open, should Mike ever decide to return at a later date.

Work on the follow up to “Without Windows” began in March of 2007. After working on new songs, it became apparent that the EP “Good Things, Bad Timing” would be the first release to come from the recording sessions. In early 2008, the band handpicked 7 songs out of the many that were recorded, and on April 15th, 2008, the EP was released. The decision to work towards a somewhat traditional alt-country EP came after a guest musician A.J Piga recorded several pedal steel tracks for the songs. The band was so thrilled with the results, that the songs for the EP were picked based on the direction that things seemed to be going.
More country than most (cough) "country," but with influences coming from all directions. Ryan Adams, Wilco, J. Tillman, Fleet Foxes, Richard Buckner, Damien Jurado, Sun Kil Moon, Nick Drake, Red House Painters, The Tea Party, Tom Waits, Danzig, Depeche Mode, Bonnie Prince Billy, South San Gabriel, Chris Bathgate, David Bazan/Headphones, Iron & Wine, Jeff Buckley, Josh Ritter, M. Ward are all listed as influences on their MySpace page.

Really nice stuff. Their 2006 album Without Windows and their 2006 EP Good Things/Bad Timing are both available for free download from their website. The download includes album art and lyrics. Just click on the Amber Dust discography.

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