Whether bossa nova or Indian classical, 24-year-old New York-based singer and producer Amber Mark’s work is imbued with sounds from around the world. Her lush, rich R&B is often replete with flourishes from a childhood spent travelling with her mother, a thangka painter (a form of Tibetan Buddhist art).
It was her mother’s death that shaped much of Mark’s debut EP, last year’s 3:33am. It was cathartic to write, Mark has said, and tracks such as Monsoon – with the potent line: “Play our favourite songs, do you hear them?” over the sound of rain – offer a sense of release. It was an EP that dealt with mourning as much as hope – Lose My Cool, for example, channels uplifting piano house and samba.
Her new EP, Conexão, deals with “finding love again”. Lead single Love Me Right got the critics aflutter with its delicately powerful vocals – low, soft and striking – as Mark queries her lover’s actions. “I’m not trying to hide it, baby, I need more from you,” she sings over self-produced loungey keys and intricate brushes of tabla that build to a string-filled finale.
It’s apt that Conexão features a cover of Love Is Stronger Than Pride, approved and enthused about by Sade herself. Amber Mark is carving out a musical space of similarly deft emotion. – The Guardian
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