Indica - A Way Away

Occasionally an album will just click, hit some secret spot that lights up the brain in a buzz of excitement and discovery. Add to that the cynicism with which I approached the new album from Finland's Indica, and this heady cocktail has left me high as a kite upon each spin of A Way Away. The initial scepticism was borne upon finding a band entirely of women and labelled as 'pop'. Some crass marketing exercise? Then came the revelation that Nightwish's Tuomas Holopainen has occupied the producer’s chair. So a Nightwish parody then? But this is certainly no money-grabbing venture, and whilst the hand of Mr Holopainen is evident on tracks like 'Islands Of Light' and 'Scissor, Paper, Rock', the comparisons end there.

A Way Away is full of pop-rock gems, lush arrangements coupled with a knack for writing a killer melody rarely seen since ABBA. Ranging from the morose, serene passing of the title track with its wistful lyrics and floating piano, through to the boisterous, uplifting 'Precious Dark' marrying rollicking guitars and fairytale stories, this is an album of shifting, flowing moods and emotions that grabs you along for a joyous ride.

Highlight 'Straight And Arrow' is a massive slice of skittering rock with machine-gun vocals filling the frequency spectrum over the heavy guitars; and the experimental 'As If' evokes Kate Bush at her best, the playful nature drawing from classical, electronica and metal in four devastating minutes. There is a childish magic at work here, at times flirting with what may termed “cheesy” such as with ‘In Passing’ – something dark is telling me I shouldn’t like this, but to hell with that, I’m enjoying it!

Overall

8

out of 10

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