What ‘Three Dimensions Deep’ tells us about Amber Mark?
Tryna be what they dream, what they fantasize‘One’ by Amber Mark
And still be me, me, myself at the same fucking time
If you ask Amber Mark about ‘Three Dimensions Deep’, she’d probably tell you this is the work of a lifetime. The New York City-based singer/songwriter/producer released this debut album on January 28th.
The 17 tracks opus is part into three pieces: Without, Withheld, and Within. This construction tells us all the stages she went through to get to where she is today.
All along, she’s protected by her beloved celestial up above. Her mother. She’s also referring to the universe as a fellow partner who could give her answers. Connecting to her spirituality and her inner self is what guides her through acceptance and this album. As the American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.’ Let’s dig in.
From Self-doubt to letting go
Without is about trying to deal with insecurities and anxiety in your work or your relationships, and always coming back to these cruel questions: Am I good enough? Am I even on the right path? Amber Mark is trapped with her negative self-talk. In ‘One’, she can’t hear over her fear of missing out. The tempo and the lyrics are racing. Trumpets are usually exciting but here, they are rather disturbing and deafening. The music is loud and catchy, like the whirlwind of thoughts that assails her.
Yet, the answer she’s searching for is in the song. It’s shouted in the back: ‘What you seek, you will find when you look inside/All these things on your mind, just a waste of time’. However, she’s not ready to know it yet. It even sounds like a wall or another dimension separates her from her truth.
That’s because she has to pursue that quest, with its highs and its lows. When it comes to relationships, Amber Mark accepts a break-up with philosophy. That’s one of the highs. Her support makes her a great friend in ‘Most Men’, but then again, she can’t seem to apply her advice to herself: ‘It is very rare, but baby, it does exit/And when you find it, you’ll realize it comes from within’.
‘Within’ is indeed a big hint for what’s to come later on the album. Still, she doesn’t dare to take a look inside. If she does, that’s in a wrong way – a painful one. Other highs are the festive ‘Bubbles’ and the seductive R&B ballad ‘Softly’. Both of them chase away all the overthinking. Amber Mark seems to even be in a different mindset. That’s because we’re slowly sliding into the second dimension.
Partying like she doesn’t care
In that part, she’s looking for every boost of confidence she can find. She’s partying her way to stop the overthinking. ‘I’ve been so stuck up on all these drama feelings/Cooped up in my room thinking’bout problems/Getting, getting nowhere, nowhere’ (‘FOMO’). That’s why it’s called Withheld. We can also see this transition in the ‘Foreign Things’ music video. In the beginning, she’s home alone with her thoughts, staring at the ceiling. Then she makes a statement all of a sudden: ‘I need to get the fuck outta here’.
She leaves the darkness of her apartment for bright and sunny parties. They’re full of dancing people, smiles, and colored souls – are they really, or are they only in Amber’s imagination? It doesn’t seem to matter anyway, because she claims she’s in her element. ‘Hop up un my throne I feel alive/Feel like I can do this every night’.
But something feels off, and the music video shows it well. In some scenes, she’s dancing when others are not. They’re not enjoying themselves as much as she does. She might try too hard to have fun and to keep it real. She’s pretending to be okay when she’s not.
This facade stays for a while. She still knows deep down she can’t keep on lying to herself. Reality hits her just like that car did at the end of the music video. That’s how she introduces Within.
Answers were within her from the start
That’s also where her story and her narrative elevate to a much higher level. A cosmic one. There are references to the sky, the stars, and the Universe itself. She’s constantly looking for a sign, as we hear it in ‘What It Is’: ‘Is it in the stars?’
The sign found her first. Then, we hear a woman talking to her in German. German is one of the languages she speaks. This dialogue is about the Universe and the stars. In one of her explanation videos about ‘Three Dimensions Deep,’ Amber Mark says that her mother was a very spiritual being. Let’s assume that this woman talking to her is an allegory to designate her mom.
Now, let’s go back to the end of the ‘Foreign Things’ music video. We hear that speech when the party is over. Amber is alone. She’s probably reminiscing some memories. She’s reconnecting them to her roots and her questioning.
Once she’s on the ground, her eyes are greyish-white. They seem to contain something as mysterious and as vast as the universe. These are precisely the last words from the voice other: ‘At the deepest level, you and I are the Universe.’ All around her, little colored cubes shine as bright as stars. She has to collect them to recreate her universe. That’s a metaphor to say looking deep inside her soul made her realize she had the keys to know herself better.
Tame her Universe
Partying your way out of things doesn’t solve any problem. And she can’t keep going ‘On and On’ like this. She’s reaching that point of no return, so she looks at things with more hindsight. Remembering that she’s a part of the Universe is something comforting to her. That means she’s a part of a tremendous thing. The Universe has a plan for her. Finishing Three Dimensions Deep is one of the first steps.
In Within, she’s fully embracing the Universe metaphor, even when it comes to relationships: ‘Wish I had a spaceship to come around quicker (…) It takes me to another planet (…) It’s so very cosmic’ (‘Cosmic’). Being a part of something bigger and trying your best while staying true to yourself seems to be what drives Amber in that last part.
She eventually accepts her light and dark sides and her complexity. Exploring the Universe is as fascinating as it’s frightening. That’s how we would understand where we come from. When it comes to us, exploring all of our facets isn’t always an easy thing, but that’s essential to move forward.
‘Three Dimensions Deep’ brings us to the end of this introspective journey with the majestic ‘Event Horizon’. Her voice carries us to a black hole, but she doesn’t fall into it. We hear the melody of this last song in the end of the music video for ‘Bliss’. It’s a poetic end for the one who finally finds happiness by accepting who she is.
A relatable quest
‘Three Dimensions Deep,’ describes Amber Mark as a human being, just like the rest of us. It’s demanding to know why things happen to us, and why they do in a certain way. We all manage our emotions differently. Sometimes, it may not be good. However, we got to remember we only are a work in progress. We need to experience some stuff to know who we are and what we want.
The Universe is billions of years old, and we’re not even close to knowing all of its secrets. Yet, this is no reason to get discouraged in getting to know yourself better. You’re strong enough to define your purpose down there. Sure, the Universe can help you to do so, but there’s also a universe in every one of us.
This storytelling is clever because it’s relatable, especially in tough times, where we all need to find answers and some sense.
Learning to see the signs
Celestial, spirituality, and numerology are beliefs in Amber Mark’s life. Her last EP (released in 2017) was even named ‘3:33 a.m.’. That mirror hour is a sign of change and creativity. It’s reputed to help someone manifest what they desire in their life. A tripled hour can also be acknowledged as a message sent by a guardian angel. In that case, 3:33 also brings wisdom, safety, and victory. While listening to ‘3:33 a.m.’, you can feel that this mystical dimension was already here.
Amber Mark grew up across Europe and Asia. She uses her knowledge of international styles to create her Universe, which stays easy to connect with.