The A.M.s have today released their new single titled ‘No Surprises’. Once a Radiohead song from ‘OK Computer’, we find reinvention in the midst from a duo that not only has the squabbles to do a cover from an iconic band, but the mind and heart as well.
While some differences are subtle, some are stark. But they are all in the right places. The risk of covering suck a beloved song from a band like Radiohead is that you open yourself up to severe scrutiny. But The A.M.s have remade this song with as much respect as it has originality. The result is something that takes the song a bit further in a way never realized. Made by fans of Radiohead for fans of The A.M.s.
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About ‘No Surprises’
Led by haunting piano and emphatic guitar, this arrangement of “No Surprises” gives its flowers to the original track whilst adding a veiled, pensive layer of yearning that is characteristic of The A.M.s’ music. Staying loyal to their introspective quality found in their previous releases, their version of this track is quintessentially woeful while maintaining its emotionally transcendent performance. “Despite being reasonably happy, silly people, we both like dark, sad music,” the pair comments. “Maybe the more we explore the depths of our dark feelings, the more we appreciate the light. Or maybe we like feeling the ache of wistful sadness through music, or maybe it’s just a sublime song – but it’s probably all of the above.” Recounting the process which saw both of them drawn to this track, they observe that “regardless, when ‘No Surprises’ came out we were both really taken by its melancholic beauty.”
Their interpretation of “No Surprises” reminds us of the potential of making art together enriched by individual perspectives and experiences. That same spirit is at the core of The A.M.s’ musical project: long-distance friends who make music a thousand miles away from one another. Mariko Langan and Adrian Libertini are a testament to creative collaborations that know no distance.
“No Surprises” is The A.M.s’ first release since Ignite The Sky which received praise from champions such as The Big Takeover, American Songwriter, and The Alternate Root. Following the release of their debut album and a slew of live dates on the West Coast, the pair attended the Durango Songwriter Expo last month.
About The A.M.s
In 2019 on Piano Day, the 88th day of the year, Adrian happened to tune Mariko’s piano. He asked if she wanted to play together; she said maybe. Realizing she might be able to return to her long-lost passion, music, they connected and started rehearsing with the hopes of playing out. Before they ever got the chance he moved to California, and soon after COVID-19 shut everything down. But they kept playing and sending ideas. Now, with an extensive catalog of 50+ songs, they have released their first album, Ignite the Sky, recorded at Earwig Studio in Seattle, WA.
Ignite the Sky chronicles Mariko’s journey of finding her birth parents during COVID, while processing the events and struggles of 2020 in quarantine. The self-produced and mostly self-played collection of songs, save for their drummer, Jason Edwards, lends to the intimate nature of the album along with the acoustic instruments and vintage keys. Using inspiration from nature, “Torn Vine” introduces others to the identity struggles of an adoptee, while “Biggest Wave” illustrates the immense weight of connecting to birth parents and discovering a love and loss so deep.
The upbeat Latin groove of “15,000 Days” isn’t what it seems at first–rather, it was 15,000 days that had passed until Mariko and her birth parents reunited once again. “Ignite the Sky” the title track, encompasses many themes across the band, adoption, and quarantine: distance, loss, hopelessness, separation, but ultimately faith that stars will align again for reconnection in the future.
Ignite the Sky is available on all streaming platforms now. The album placed second for Best Album at the New Times Music Awards.