‘The Driving Rain (18)’, the central track in Mandy, Indiana‘s debut album, I’ve Seen A Way, is introduced by the sound of pouring rainfall. The listening experience, up to that point, had been so alien that I had to stop to understand if it was really belting down outside my windows. A mixture of house music and post-punk, with distorted vocals over vintage drum machines and a sonicscape that spans from the most obscure industrial sound to the lightness of yé-yé French pop, the Manchester outfit’s music-making crosses and destroys any possible boundary of genres and attitudes, creating a detonating new palette.
Recorded in a variety of unusual locations – Bristol shopping malls, Gothic crypts, West Country caves – the album is packed with novel acoustics which set its sound apart. Valentine Caulfield, Scott Fair, Simon Catling and Alex MacDougall have also spoken about the way in which they draw their inspiration from films where the language of cinema is disrupted, and masterfully apply the same treatment to their music. Adding another layer of exotic, unsettling mystery are Valentine Caulfield’s lyrics in her native French, whose delicate musicality clashes against the roughness of the sound. All this means that I’ve Seen A Way sets the bar pretty high for a debut.
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