The free album track ‘Safe And Empty’ is available to download now
After releasing five EPs in 2012, Andy became frustrated with his music; he decided to go back to the drawing board and strip everything back. “To find my voice, I had to stop singing…” Andy explains. The result is debut album Variant – each track on the album feels completely unique and showcases Andy’s array of influences. Tracks like ‘Sixty Minutes Sixty Seconds’ and ‘Abyssal Ghosts’ could have easily featured on Oceansize’s debut album Effloresce yet equally on a Russian Circles record. However, then there’s ‘Under the Widefield’ – a track that channels Boards of Canada through acoustic guitars and ‘Safe And Empty’, which is like an instrumental Massive Attack track. Variant feels like a brocade of Andy’s influences coming together as one, it’s a highly ambitious piece but one that feels like a personal journey as well.
It isn’t obvious on first listen, but the record is very sample heavy, adding textures to the forefront and deeper structures of nearly all the tracks. Andy wanted to blur the lines between what people perceive as sample based music and music performed by a full band.
Andy’s influences span even further than what is actually heard on the album, his inspirations whilst writing Variant flit from alternative metal like Deftones to the indie electronica of Chromatics, the Blade Runner soundtrack, Slayer, Curtis Mayfield and DJ Shadow. A lot of 70s vinyl and films also influenced the recording of Variant and it’s clear to hear the latter having a hold on the sound with each of the eight tracks feeling almost filmic at times.
Andy recorded the whole album himself in his own purpose built studio, which he lovingly calls The Graveyard. However, despite the gloomy connotations, this is a place where all of his ideas and feelings are sonically birthed and forged into what you hear on Variant.
Sunset Graves is an exciting project from a real songwriters’ songwriter and marks the beginning of something very intriguing indeed.