Montreal’s Ambrose released their debut single “Hourglass Sands” back in October 2013, and now it’s finally time for a debut EP from the duo. It’s fitting that some time has passed, as the EP deals with seasons, the passing of time, and the inevitable change of interpersonal relationships, all to the sound of beautifully executed keyboard electronics.
It starts with “Hourglass Sands”, which expresses the ephemeral nature of time in a staircase melody. “Sifting through my hands, the hourglass sands on the distant beach,” sings Sonia Thomson, voice warm and full. “I thought my grip was firm and I held it in my palm, but I woke and the dream was gone.” You might think that you have a control of time, but it never fails to get away.
The summery beach imagery transitions into some more weather imagery. “Winters” has a slower driving pace, and is set in the stark cold of February, and depicts a cold and distant love.
“Citadel Passage” represents June, though the kind of early summer month where winter’s cold breath lingers. The mood is mournful as the narrator realizes that her partner was more in love with the feeling of being loved than with her as a person, resulting in a sound like the wistful hope of spring compromised by an icy lack of compassion.
The album does end on a sunny note with “End of the Cold Days”, light and heartfelt like the first appearance of the sun from some heavy clouds.
Ambrose seem to have perfected the art of emotional synth pop: accessible, well-executed, and emotionally relatable.
Top Tracks: “Hourglass Sands”, “Citadel Passage”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)