Stumbled Upon #088 – Amber Leaves (London, UK)

In our 88th instalment of “Stumbled Upon”, we meet London’s Amber Leaves, and chat about their brand new release, “This Ain’t A Love Song”, going from being a back-up band to a full blown outfit and what the future holds for the band.

Musician/Band Name:
Amber Leaves

Website / Social Media:
Facebook / Soundcloud / Instagram / Twitter


Members & their roles:
Chesney Jefferson – Vocals, Keys, Guitar
Jake Milburn – Guitar
Jay Morrod – Bass, Backing Vocals
Josh Pontin – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Seb Drayton – Drums

What music or artists inspired you?
We really take inspiration from artists like Radiohead, Metronomy, Blur, J Dilla, Glass Animals, Jungle, Motown, Massive Attack, Tame Impala, The Internet, Bloc Party, Thundercat, Roy Ayres to name a few.

How did the band get started?
Chesney was working on loads of solo material and got booked to play at Connect the Dots festival in Sheffield in April 2014. Rather than do a one man show he decided to put a backing band together with friends he met studying music at University – Jake and Seb.

The band needed a bassist and through mutual friends and a few drinking sessions, we found Jay. Over the course of 7 weeks, we put together a five song set especially for the festival. We drove up to Sheffield, excited to finally get to share our music with people. Sadly, the headline band had major technical issues during their sound check which threw the schedule into disarray and we got pulled from the line up due to time constraints.

Determined to have a good night anyway we got smashed and stole loads of wine from the green room. Back in London, we were feeling a bit disheartened and were desperate to play, so we put on a free show at a warehouse in East London. The place went mental and we decided that we would be a band, rather than Chesney’s backing band. Moving on a few months, we began gigging more regularly as Amber Leaves and writing loads of new songs. We felt we could use some extra depth and recruited another ex-uni bud, Josh, who joined Amber Leaves on guitar, completing the line-up.

How would you best describe your live show:
A passionate, sensual blend of love, soul, dance and energy.

What shows do you have coming up?
We’re having a little break from the circuit at the moment to develop the live show, write loads of new material and get back in the studio as our sound has evolved a lot over the last few months. Keep an eye on Facebook for more dates.

Tell us about your latest release:
From its pared-down inception as an inventive bass riff, married to a hip-hop beat, “This Ain’t A Love Song” has evolved into a work of heartfelt, palatial soul. Spotlighting Chesney Jefferson’s majestic vocal throughout, the song is propelled by the groove of its walking bassline, while a slick beat and sweeping keyboards assist its clean-lined jazzy glide. The lyrical protestations are those of a man striving to convince himself that he’s not really falling in love, before acceptance seems to come by way of a climactic reference to Bart Howard’s “Fly Me To The Moon” – a suitably urbane nod in what is a sophisticated pop delight. Like the band’s previous acclaimed release, “Heaven”, “…Love Song” was mastered by Grammy award-winner Mandy Parnell (Aphex Twin, Bjork).

Where can I get your music?
Our first single “Heaven” is available on most of the big online digital stores like iTunes, Amazon, emusic. You can also stream it for free on Spotify or our soundcloud page. The new single “This Ain’t a Love Song” came out on October 16th and is available in the same places.

Listen to ‘Stumbled Upon’ on AU Radio , Mondays at 8:30PM, Thursdays at 3PM and Sundays at 10AM (AEDT), or the playlist of past ‘Stumbled Upon’ artists on Soundcloud


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