i've seen a way
Manchester is renowned all over the world for its musical exports. Their rich musical history is beyond comparison. Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, Stone Roses, and Oasis. It’s practically one of the world’s hotbeds of music culture. While all these artists are quite different, what really ties them all together is their effortless musicality and their deft way with getting melodies stuck in your head for days. Now, most of these bands are over thirty years old and you may be wondering what does a city like Manchester have to offer these days? Well, look no further than Mandy, Indiana. Made up of Parisian frontwoman and lyricist Valentine Caulfield, guitarist and producer Scott Fair, synth-player Simon Catling and drummer Alex Macdougal, this isn’t your parents version of what the Manchester sound was. In fact, it is a wildly different experience yet one that is ambitious, evocative of multiple emotions, sometimes all at once, and honestly one that is equally unforgettable. To call the band “Industrial” is a bit of a disservice. While some of that genre’s touchstones do come to play in the group’s brand of coldwave dance music, what they are doing on i’ve seen a way, out May 19th via Fire Talk, feels pretty fresh compared to their scene’s mostly retro leaning contemporaries. It’s at times haunting, chaotic, a little bit scary but all in all pretty freaking cathartic.
Lyrically, while mainly in French, the songs are rallying cries. Shouted with passion and fervor by Caulfield and soundtracked with an equal amount of convincing persuasiveness. Opening up with “Love Theme (4K VHS)”, you wouldn’t be wrong to think that you are about to embark on a bit of a synth pop journey. The track isn’t too dissimilar from most contemporary synth pop acts, that is until things really start to shift on the follow up track, “Drag (Crashed)”. Starting out with the kind of squelching that you’ve only heard in horror films and a beat that is so gratifying that it almost makes you forget the claustrophobia and despair the band has summoned up, almost. The song’s bridge is where the richness of Caulfield’s vocal melodies is showcased against the track’s dystopian sonic backdrop.
Caulfield’s voice acts almost like another instrument in the fold. As she is singing French, most wouldn’t understand the content regardless but the way it is affected and distorted fits perfectly into the group’s sonic palate. Album standout “Peach Fuzz” is a wonderful reason alone to recommend the album. It’s a hard hitting dance track that builds so perfectly that by the time you find yourself bopping along to its yelps and screeches Mandy, Indiana will have you perfectly in their grasp.
order i’ve seen a way by Mandy, Indiana HERE
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