Amber Coffman's debut album details the harsh reality of break-ups and finding yourself
The former member of Dirty Projectors’ debut, City Of No Reply, has been six years in the making - but it has finally arrived.
On Friday, Amber Coffman (former member of cherished indie outfit Dirty Projectors) released her long awaited debut album, City of No Reply. The music and sounds of the record (which she began writing six years ago whilst she was still a member of Dirty Projectors) are perhaps a testament to everything that went on behind the scenes/production of the album. We hope this doesn’t come across as gossipy, as her exit from Dirty Projectors as well as her relationship with the band’s frontman, David Longstreth, is heavily documented. But, through a recent interview with Pitchfork, Coffman has stated to keep it all in mind when listening to the record. “You’re supposed to keep that information in mind when you listen to City of No Reply. You’re supposed to interpret it as an album about learning to live with yourself and about depression and self-doubt". In the same interview, she also states the wariness towards describing or interpreting City of No Reply as a record about breakups stating that “there’s certainly a lot of breakup songs, but it’s not about one person in particular”.
The record itself isn’t for everyone, but City of No Reply is a representation of Amber Coffman very much hitting the straps and doing things on her own. Following her breakup in 2012 with the Dirty Projectors frontman, Coffman managed to patch things up with Longstreth, enough so that they could “leave the future open”. One of most interesting facts about Coffman’s debut is that Longstreth was, in fact, a writer and producer on City of No Reply. Recording the album in 2015 in his studio in Los Angeles, Coffman has said on the pair working together on her debut that “all went considerably well, but things took an unfortunate downturn around the completion of my record, at which time we stopped speaking.”. In what can only be interpreted as the final straw, Coffman’s angst towards Longstreth came when she found out that Dirty Projectors were releasing their new record a mere months before the release of her debut in late 2016.
Anyhow, as stated above earlier, this record isn’t for everyone. For fans of Dirty Projectors, Coffman has drawn on similar sounds which have ultimately influenced the overall vibe on record (which isn’t a bad thing). Going at it alone, the record starts to take shape from about track number five, Miss You. Sure, the records opening section is ok, but it really starts to ramp up when you listen to the songs If You Want My Heart and Under The Sun (which are two of the best tracks from the release). Knowing the records backstory won’t distract from the listen, but it will help when interpreting some of the stories/lyrics. Amber Coffman’s solo indie debut, City of No Reply, is an interesting take on telling stories about breakups and finding yourself.
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