Album Review: The Amazons – How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me?

The rockers are buoyant and hopeful in their third studio album, returning with a brighter sound

“And I don’t believe in miracles, but I know we need one now,” sang Matt Thomson on ‘Georgia’, the closer to 2019’s Future Dust. He had no idea. In the three years since Future Dust was released the world has changed, hugely and permanently, and that miracle is more asked for than ever. But on How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me? the Amazons are choosing to ignore the darkness around them and let in a little sunlight.

The Amazons - How Will I Know? (Official Music Video)

It’s a lesson that Thomson has been learning personally, as is detailed in much of the record. ‘Bloodrush’, the album’s lead single, doesn’t hold back when it comes to the challenges and frustrations of Thomson’s long-distance relationship with his girlfriend. But “for all of those times, the ones we can’t win”, they manage to find blood-firing moments to keep them going.

It’s a pattern that repeats across the record – Thomson makes a heaven out of bleary early mornings and coffee-stained sheets in ‘Say It Again’, and begs his partner not to give up on it all in ‘Wait For Me’. “I’m in love,” he repeats in the bridge, both passionately and pathetically. In ‘I’m Not Ready’, he clings on their the final seconds together with determination – “Don’t tear me away/No, I’m gonna stay til they drag me out”.

Future Dust tackled a lot of heavier material, focusing on isolation, frustration and poor mental health. The shift in tone is unmissable. ‘How Will I Know’, the opener on this newest album, has an immediate brightness to it, jangly and crashy in the most joyful of ways. The Amazons make it clear that the problems previously discussed aren’t solved, and that they themselves don’t have any answers, but there’s an optimistic nihilism to it. We can’t know if better days are coming, and wishing for them won’t make them appear, so we just have to find the joy in what’s in front of us.

The Amazons - Bloodrush

How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me? is born from anticipation – not just the romantic anticipation between two people, but a worldwide anticipation that gripped us all for almost two years. Racing, triumphant guitar riffs and loud, urgent drums point to a band itching for the return of live music, and a longing to explode out onto the stage.

In ‘Ready For Something’ – a busy, sometimes furious track that sounds a little like the band are trying to fight their way out of somewhere using only guitars – Thomson articulates this feeling. He’s ready for this nondescript ‘something’ to happen after so many months of nothing, but he’s also “trying to find the fire I’ve forgotten”. He has to learn how to look for the spark.

The Amazons - There's A Light (Official Pseudo Video)

Across much of the record, the Amazons find themselves turning deliberately towards the light. ‘Northern Star’, the album’s most tender track, Thomson thanks the person who keeps him from slipping under into darkness. In ‘There’s A Light’, he tells them – “I believe there’s a light at the end of the dark/I believe there’s a light in spite of it all.”

When he sings later that “I can’t let this feeling go to waste”, it’s to a melody that sounds like church bells ringing. Morning is dawning, and the Amazons have chosen to believe that we’re all going to be okay.

The Amazons set out on their UK tour this October. Get tickets here.