Emerging London based synth-pop duo Amberlake is an exciting new collaboration that combines the formidable musical talents of Emma Lauran and Nick Tsang. With one hand dipped in pop and the other in serene electronica, Amberlake have created their own brand of quietly euphoric, expansive alt-pop. Think: the pulsating ambience of Teen Daze and Tycho, the emotional pull of Oh Wonder.
Tsang has toured the world with acts such as Ed Sheeran, and amassed production and songwriting credits with artists such as Jess Glynne and Nina Nesbitt, while Lauran cut her teeth as a singer-songwriter, having released her own music and cut her teeth as a live performer after moving to London from Exeter’s vibrant music scene. They met on the London live circuit and immediately something clicked between them: Amberlake was born.
The duo released their second single just last month. “We first came up with the idea for ‘OH MY GOD’ when we were talking about past relationships and break ups. We wanted to capture that OMG moment when you’re about to break up with someone and the sudden realisation hits you that ‘this is it’ and there’s no going back.”
As for their playlist: “Music is so powerful, it can stir up old emotions and transport us back to any moment in time. Nostalgia is something we want to evoke in our music and we’re always talking about past experiences during our writing sessions, so it felt only natural to base our Top 10 songs on the theme of memories. We’ve picked five songs each and combined them to give you our Top 10 songs that take us back to special moments in time, hope you enjoy!”
1. Coldplay – ‘Warning Sign’
“This song throws me right back to my teenage years when my then girlfriend and I first discovered our love for Coldplay. I wasn’t allowed a girlfriend back then so every Saturday I used to lie to my parents and tell them I had a sports match, and then walk an hour to my girlfriend’s house. I used to put this song on during the walk along the dual carriageway, and every time I drive down that same road now, this song comes on in my head.” – Nick
2. Reef – ‘Place Your Hands’
“Growing up in a small town of Worcester, there were limited clubs that my mates and I used to go to. I used to go to the only alternative/indie/rock club called Gonzos which happened to be next to my Dad’s Chinese restaurant. I was completely underage then but I used to bribe the bouncers with a bag of prawn crackers from my Dad’s restaurant and they would happily let us in. The club would always play this song to finish off the night, and as you can imagine the whole club went crazy. Good times.” – Nick
3. Red House Painters – ‘Have You Forgotten’
“I was in Canada visiting my family when I was a 15 where my cousin introduced me to The Red House Painters. During my stay I had this song on repeat whilst spending a lot of time with my Grandad who I grew very close to. Shortly after I returned back to UK, my Grandad was hit by a car and passed away shortly afterwards. This song will always remind me of our times together.” – Nick
4. Bon Iver – ‘Re:Stacks’
“Bon Iver is one of my favourite artists of this time. I was asked to perform this song to my close friends walking down the aisle on their wedding day. Being asked to perform one of my favourite songs on such a special day for them made it an experience I’ll never forget.” – Nick
5. Dire Straits – ‘Local Hero/Wild Theme’
“I was a huge fan of Dire Straits when I was first learning guitar. I went trekking in the Himalayas when I was 17. When I reached the summit, I put this song on. The combination of the views from standing at the top of the mountain and this song completely took my breath away and I remember being completely overwhelmed by emotion. To this day, It is still the most incredible experience I’ve had.” – Nick
6. Jamiroquai – ‘Cosmic Girl’
“One of my earliest and favourite memories is my sister and I dancing in the living room to Jamiroquai when we were only 3 and 5 years old. My parents have always been music lovers and I grew up listening to the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush and Simply Red. I loved those cosy weekends when they would blast music through the house and we would get all excited, jumping around all over the place. My sister and I still play Jamiroquai at Christmas time and family gatherings, reminiscing and laughing about our old dance moves!” – Emma
7. Avril Lavigne – ‘Complicated’
“‘Let Go’ by Avril Lavigne was the very first album I ever bought with my own money, and I was obsessed! I used to listen to this album on repeat when I was about 8 years old and knew every lyric off by heart. Of all the songs, this one was always my favourite. It reminds me of my ‘skater’ days when I wore those insanely baggy trousers with a chain that I thought looked cool (wrong) and skated around my cul-de-sac like I owned the place. I also hated my curly hair (self-deprecating pre-teen) and wished it could be dead straight like hers – genuinely wished I could be her for a good year or so!” – Emma
8. Taylor Swift – ‘Fearless’
“Still one of my biggest inspirations of all time, Taylor Swift’s ‘Fearless’ album was one of the soundtracks to my teenage years. As I’m sure was the case with every other teenage girl, I could relate to EVERYTHING she was singing about, mainly the songs about boys and being friend zoned. She inspired me to pick up the guitar one Summer and ‘Fearless’ is one of the first songs I ever learnt to play. Having received tickets for her tour as a Christmas gift (best surprise ever), I went to see her in concert that following March after recently breaking up with my first boyfriend. As you can imagine, I balled my eyes out throughout the whole thing. But from that moment on, I knew music and performing was what I wanted to pursue.” – Emma
9. The 1975 – ‘The City’
“When I was 19, I embarked on my first solo trip to America and travelled around California for a month. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had so far. The 1975 were an emerging band in the UK and there was a lot of buzz surrounding their debut album so I downloaded it for the trip. Walking through Santa Monica, I listened to the ‘The City’ which became my favourite song on the album. I remember feeling in awe of the place, with the blue skies, palm trees and beautiful beaches; the combination of song and location filled me with an excitement I’d never felt before.” – Emma
10. Frances – ‘Grow’
“Which brings me to my 20s… They’re hard! We have no idea what we’re doing. When I first moved to London to pursue music, I felt a little overwhelmed as I was only ever used to living in a quiet town in Devon. My first flat was only a 5 min walk from Richmond Park and I used to walk there in the mornings to get a coffee and take some time to breathe. This song came on one morning when I was feeling pretty emotional and homesick and I remember just breaking down. Whilst listening to it though, I reflected on how far I’d come already. By the end of the song, having taken in the lyrics and being so moved by the music, I felt a surge of calm come over me and a feeling that everything was going to be alright. Sometimes it’s okay to get a little emotional and lose our sh*t – that’s life! But there are those songs that act as friendly reminder that we’re only human and we’re doing our best, and this is one of them.” – Emma
Amberlake’s latest single ‘OH MY GOD’ is out now. Watch the video HERE.
You can listen to all Ask the DJ playlists on the FMS Magazine Spotify CHANNEL.
Find Amberlake’s playlist below and HERE.