Monday, June 28, 2021

Midnight Ambulance’s Latest Single ‘5 AM’ is Worth Getting Out of Bed For

Scottish duo Midnight Ambulance’s latest single may be called ‘5 AM,’ but this wonderfully haunting new tune can be appreciated at any hour of the day.

What began as a virtual collaboration during lockdown between guitarist/producer Fraser Fulton and drummer/lead singer Amelia Stokes has blossomed into the start of a promising music career for the alt-rock pair. Their debut single ‘Black Gloves’ released in February 2021 has already been recognized by BBC ScotlandBBC Alba, and The Scotsman on Sunday.

After its release on June 11th the band explained that “'5 AM’ describes how lockdown acted as a skewed mirror to the past, casting up old memories, both good and bad.” This complex nostalgia is communicated through a sound likened to that of Wolf Alice and The White Stripes. However, the song's intertwining of dissonant melodies and eerie guitar riffs with a sonorous drum line creates a sound entirely unique to Midnight Ambulance.

The opening lyrics, “I’ve been waiting for a call / Waiting by the phone / Tick tock, I watch the clock / What excuse this time? / Do you expect me to believe that?” narrate the arduous process of making plans, something we’ve all experienced both in and out of lockdown. As the song builds into the chorus and approaches the bridge, the listener becomes enveloped in a melancholy soundscape reflecting the anxiety and frustration of the pandemic, accompanied by memorable lyricism found in lines such as “Invite the strange delights”.

Overall, the silkiness of Stokes’ vocals against the electricity of Fulton’s guitar maintained throughout the song creates a magnificent storm of sound you can feel in your bones. So have a listen and keep an eye out for future live shows in Scotland, because you know what they say: it’s 5 AM somewhere!

In lieu of concerts at the moment, a live version of ‘5 AM’ is available on Midnight Ambulance’s YouTube channel. You can check out an acoustic version of the single with The Scotsman Sessions as well.


Nickie Finnegan 


Image: Andrew Laing

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