It's the refreshing sound of a man who doesn't speak any nonsense. Not in his lyrics, guitar strumming or by the way he interviews. This week it was a pleasure to meet up with Here's Andy, just plain old Andy 'whoever the hell he is', brought up in the DIY school of New Paltz, NY. Here's Andy is one of America's kids who by 'just figuring it out' has actually got a lot spot on.
'Andy has been brought up in the school of DIY, part of the reason I picked New Paltz. Great DIY scene here'...so says Andy, DIY-er at heart. But as Third Outing realised this week, there's a certain step up when it comes to being a good DIY artist, and being something much greater than that, namely, a recording artist in your own right. Here's Andy has just released a rather intriguing EP which bridges the gap between DIY and recording artist. Named Small & Scary, the irony is the record is larger than life with a beautiful driving force behind it, Here's Andy has managed to record an incredibly compelling 6 track EP which shows some serious promise.
"I still have no idea what I'm doing and am figuring it out as I go. You really have to take your music seriously and work hard on everything and practice constantly".
The album, written over the course of a year, was a new approach to song writing and recording for Here's Andy. He messed around with vocals, played old vintage keyboards and best of all commandeered his ex girlfriends acoustic guitar (which she can have back now). All of which has resulted in a fresh approach to DIY writing. The music production by friend Josh of Primate House in his NYC apartment has made all of the difference. The studio quality recordings on equipment which goes 'the whole nine yards' has gone even further to guarantee that Here's Andy's sound is rightly portrayed as something quite spectacular. It's a wonderful hybrid of acoustic writing at it's best, transformed into a fuller, louder rendition which it deserves to be.
"I'm a fan of Kurt Cobain's music but he didn't really influence the EP a whole lot. I wouldn't really compare it to anyone really. Just Andy, whoever the hell he is".
To the EP itself and the opening track Andy really sets the tone for what's to come in the EP. It's a lively track with a great rhythm. The simple drum beat compliments the feel of the music, and most importantly supports that exquisite Berman tone to Here's Andy's vocal performance. But with lyrics like "oh andy/misfortune knocks on the door/he’s twelve down/only three more/fuck his bed/ he’s on the floor/Andy likes it there much more", you really cannot go wrong. The second track Bunny reaffirms our suspicions. Yes, this guy could be a genius. The music remains so simple and the lyrics to the song are 20 words long, but my god do they resonate. Molly and Donald portray a different side to Here's Andy. Here we see something altogether heavier, more electric, edgy, and in an almost MGMT style, Here's Andy begins a social commentary on the characters which have defined his childhood.
"I originally come from a small town where people talk a lot. About everyone and everything they've ever done. It really gets boring and annoying quickly. I kind of tuned out and ignored anything, and this character is almost the "anti-Andy". He wants to hear the talk and listen to the garbage people have to say about him".
Book is definitely the stand out performance of the EP. Described by Andy above as the "anti-Andy" character, it's a track which has an incredible driving force, an ingenious melody which just addicts, and lyrics which just beg you to ask yourself the question "define me...define me"? But within this song a very special quality is portrayed which is difficult to describe in words. Listen to the track. It's the small gap in the music at the beginning. It's the quick strum of the guitar. It's the drop into the first verse. It's the dreamy chorus. It's the bang of the drums and the drone of the voice. It cannot really be described, but it's magic.