The Ambience Affair Picture: Alex Synge

Jamie from the Ambience Affair wrote an interesting blog post yesterday. You can read it on the band’s website here or below.

So we’re heading into 2012 with a lot of work done and many milestones achieved and I guess it’s our aim to keep the ball rolling on our album for the next while anyway.

We’re in this weird transition phase where we’ve had months of building up to this defining moment when our album was released, and rather than sink into oblivion, like many others before, we’re trying to unearth as many new fans of our music as we can. I’ve talked before about how I think our record has a certain depth to it, and I believe that it’s something that lends itself to lasting longer and continuing to sound fresh.

It definitely was not intentional.Though we wanted it to sound big and textured, we spent a hell of a long time getting instruments to produce the noises we wanted.The marxophone at the beginning of Fragile Things being a prime example of this.I guess because we had the means to do so, we just wanted to spend every available penny on recording the best album we could.

I hope that you continue to discover the little replications we put in there to try and tie up the songs as a whole piece, and that it’s an album that is actually worth revisiting.It was weird sticking it up on Bandamp and streaming it online, because it kind of went against how I thought it would be best consumed.But hey, it got out there and we let the people decide how they wanted to, which is definitely more important than what I think.

As well as unearthing the new fans, we’re going to try and bridge the gap between ‘burials’ and whatever happens next.We did the Metronomy cover for the Quompilation with the idea that it would give people a taste of what may be to come from our songs as a three piece.To me, we’re beginning to definitely sound more like a conventional band but with our uniqueness still prevalent throughout.Listening to tonnes of Yo La Tengo has made me appreciate the joy in sparseness and that’s something we’re definitely going to focus on going forward.To me, epic and grandiose meant throwing the kitchen sink at it before but I’m learning that three instruments can achieve as much when combined together in the right way.Actually knowing how to play an electric guitar and when to use effects is proving to be a revelation. I only had my electric 6 months before we went into the studio and considering ‘weeds’ ‘the fallen’, ‘war weary’ and a couple others were written in that time, it was crazy how much electric ended up being on the record.

We’ve got plenty of genuinely exciting things lined up for the next few months and we’ll be informing you of them in due course.Until then.

Though he doesn’t directly address it, Jamie does mention a “weird transition”, and I guess it’s something a lot of bands go through. They’ve done the hype phase, been featured on some blogs and their album was generally well received. But Burials came out in October – the hype has died and now they’re on their own. I got to see Ambience Affair play a show in Cork around the release date of the album. Though it was a late show, the turnout was shocking. And how can you make new fans if people aren’t going to come out and watch your band? It wasn’t the band’s fault that there was a lack of people at Cyprus Avenue that night. Gigs there are usually poorly advertised – wonder how many people know BBC Sound of 2012 winner Michael Kiwanuka is playing on Sunday week.

Jamie writes “rather than sink into oblivion, like many others before…” I wonder how many bands worry about this, particularly those from Ireland, where ‘success’ is a strange beast. Unless you’re And So I Watch You From Afar or Lisa Hannigan (to name but two artists who released albums last year) you probably won’t get to tour the world, hang out in the Californian song or play hundreds of gigs a year. ‘Successful’ Irish bands probably get to play a sold-out Whelan’s, maybe sell out some other venues around the country and record another album or two. In November 2010 Hot Press had a feature with former hyped band Codes in which they discussed why you probably don’t know who they are now.

I hope more people listen to Ambience Affair. I think they’re too good to just be thrown on the ‘this band released an album in 2011’ pile. I look forward to seeing what they have coming for the rest of the year. And if we’re still talking about them in a few years, well I guess that’s success right there, isn’t it?