Unlike bands who claim to fight Foo or that there are monkeys in the Arctic, Amber Strawbridge named herself after actually being bored at her Grandma’s house. I’ve heard a lot in the last few years about how boredom is an underappreciated, but important, part of our lives (see this article from BBC Culture) and can spark creativity so the glorious DIY ethic of Sometimes I Forget You’re Human Too demonstrates this theory in action. That, and the power of the shower as a space for contemplation: as Strawbridge says “showers are a kind of therapy in my opinion, they give you time to reflect and think without influence from anything external.“.
Given all that introspection, Amber Strawbridge has managed to transcend the four walls of her boredom and craft five tracks that are immensely widescreen in their sound. Multi-layers of guitar offer small, but perfectly formed, rolling riffs as well as bursts of crunch and shimmer; like the playful side of The Cure has been mixed in with the cavernous reverb of Ride. Songs seamlessly move from intimate moments to enormous vistas but without losing a warmth that reminded me of the gentle summer heat I felt from Jay Som’s 2019 album Anak Ko.
Strawbridge talks of “the realisation that everyone is the same. In the sense that we are all human, everyone has issues and problems to face, everyone makes mistakes and has success” and Sometimes I Forget You’re Human Too is “an EP of self-assurance and reminding myself that it’s ok to not have it together all the time.” And this is a very self-assured release which should inspire other artists to indulge in a spot of boredom. I’ll leave with two quotes about boredom: “Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty – his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.” – Aldous Huxley. “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” – Ellen Parr.
Sometimes I Forget You’re Human Too is available as a download and, if you’re quick, on limited edition 12″ Seed Splatter Vinyl.
The cover art artwork is by Josie Lister.
Review by Paul F Cook