One of the most common cliches you’ll ever hear is “it’ll be worth the wait.” As we all know, that is not entirely true. You could wait three hours for your food to arrive in a restaurant, and it could still look like a bomb went off in the kitchen and you’re left with the remains.
Anyways, that’s probably not the best opening analogy I’ve ever come up with, but basically what I’m trying to say (albeit in a very long-winded way) is that this album has been a long-time coming, but bloody hell has it been worth the wait! This is one of the most accomplished pop albums of the past decade. It’s an album that sounds familiar enough to be accessible to the everyday listener, and offers enough experimentalness (is that a word?) to keep even the biggest music enthusiast hooked in.
Rise Up kicks off proceedings, and you couldn’t really ask for a better start to this musical journey. Spine-tingling layers of vocals overlap, subtle synths fade in the background until Indi’s vocal rises above a soft piano melody. I’d like to point out this is all within the first 40 seconds. As the song continues, we build toward the most epic soundscape with one heck of a catchy guitar riff. It sounds odd, but it makes me think of Queen. As in, if the band had just formed now, in 2015, this is the kind of stuff they’d be doing. But, you know, fronted by a woman… at least I know what I mean.
Solo Dancing is up next, the electro-pop beauty that catapulted Indi into the top 20 last year, and is currently making the rounds on Radio 1’s A-List. What is there that can be said about this that hasn’t already been said? It’s a pure slice of pop-gold. Sultry, catchy, and, it makes you wanna dance… even by yourself.
It’s not long before we’re hit with what is, in my opinion, one of the greatest Pop songs of all time, Blind As I Am. We first heard this beauty back at the Future Sound of Nottingham April 2012, and we’ve heard it live many times since then, but, my god, it only gets better and better. A stunning electronic piano-led Pop ballad, Blind As I Am genuinely leaves us stunned every single time we hear it. Whilst filming our Nusic Presents, we heard the song performed several times over the course of an hour, and it was like my heart had taken a beating and simultaneously my ears had been given a blessing. If you only have time to listen to one song from the album, make it this one. But, seriously, just find time to listen to the whole album. There’s a touching story to it, and a beyond beautiful performance of it on Nusic Presents INDIANA, which can be found HERE.
Jack follows, and never has a song made me want to change my name more – maybe I’m just an egomaniac. This song is dark, sultry, sexy and many other words that have probably been used to describe Fifty Shades Of Grey in the past. Oh yeah, and it’s very, very catchy. Thinking about it, those words are probably used in Fifty Shades somewhere…
Keeping with the theme, Bound graces your ears pretty soon after Jack. If you’re thinking you’ve heard this track before, it’s cos it’s only gone and found itself onto a Durex advert. The brooding beats set the tone for Indi’s perfect falsetto, and as she utters “this isn’t love, it’s dangerous”, you’re sucked into a dark world that, you probably should, but you don’t want to leave.
The track No Romeo is the most instantly catchy of the album tracks. And it’s all thanks to a simple synth hit on the chorus. Sounding somewhat like a cool, modern Human League, this could easily be a BIG single. I can almost see it becoming an anthem of strong independent women, a la Destiny’s Child Independent Woman – “I don’t need no romeo”
I first heard Shadow Flash a few months ago, thanks to Spotify, and it made it to the No.2 spot on my most played tracks of the year. Indi’s vocal on this is PERFECT. With very subtle soundscapes to accompany it (including Mortal Kombat samples, dayumm nostalgia!), I haven’t been this hooked on a pop track in a very long time. And that’s coming from the pop guy at Nusic HQ!
The album comes to a close with Only The Lonely and fan favourite Mess Around. Zane Lowe got it spot on with OTL when he called it “a ballad you can dance to”. Cos that’s exactly what it does to ya, it makes you feel something inside, but also gets every part of your body moving at the same time.
Mess Around on the other hand has a lyric that sums up my emotions perfectly as we reach the end of the album…
“There’s a fire you’ve started, and I don’t wanna put it out.”
I can safely say there aren’t many albums that I’ve reviewed where I’ve pressed play again the second that they’ve finished, but No Romeo is definitely one of those albums. Incredible from start to finish. Haunting in every way possible.
She definitely don’t need No Romeo if this is the kind of music she makes on her own.
Buy the album HERE. Now. For your own good. Or I’ll make more awkward bondage jokes.
Everything about Spreading The Love HERE.
Yours in Love of New Music,
Sam Nahirny x