The Rescue Rooms archives: 2014

Indiana , Indiana Live At Rescue Rooms

  • Friday 7th November 2014
  • Supported by: Shelter Point




The song ‘Gabriel’ by Joe Goddard made more of an impact on some than others. It was May 2012 when local girl Indiana recorded a stripped back version of the song on her phone, unbeknown to her that this would cause a doppler effect still resonating to this day. The video in which she accompanies herself on piano, was spotted on YouTube by the song’s original writer John Beck, who originally clicked on it expecting a laugh. Instead, he was blown away by her stunning vocal range, and decided to make contact. Their co-writing partnership resulted in four stunning singles throughout 2013 and a million-plus YouTube views. It actively forced her obsession with ‘Gabriel’ full circle. Joe Goddard went on to remix Indiana’s 2014 hit single, ‘Solo Dancing’.

 Teaching herself piano at home, the 26-year-old mother of two began writing songs in 2011. Her singing voice possesses the restraint and technique of someone classically trained, without ever having the lessons to show for it. She recalls the moment she made the vocal breakthrough: “When I first started singing, I could only hold a note, and I would get so lost. Eventually, I started to hear more tone coming out. The more I took myself away from everything going on and got lost in the music, these things started happening: the vibrato, the tone, the breathiness. It started once I’d found a connection with the music I was singing.” These home-grown vocals are emotionally charged, and play off fragility and power in a tonal tussle.

 Her voice might grasp ears, but it’s her story-telling lyrics that are truly carving her niche, and as Indiana’s debut album ‘No Romeo’ displays, she doesn’t do formulaic love songs. “The title is a pseudonym I give myself” she explains. “These may appear to be love songs but look closer, chip away their exterior beauty and reveal an inner darkness. I am No Romeo.”

 Within this conceptual identity, she writes compelling narrative journeys into a wealth of different psyches. ‘Never Born’ opens with a juddering bass synth, as Indiana’s spectral vocals fly through her range, before it all erupts with a rapturous electric guitar hook. At the opposite end of the scale, ‘Jack’ is minimal and percussive, devised with help from Joel Little of Lorde fame to create a forward-thinking r&b/pop soundscape that perfectly accentuates Indiana’s narrative. 'No Romeo’ includes work with producers like Little, John Beck, Two Inch Punch and Jess Shatkin but this is very much an Indiana sound. ‘Solo Dancing’ blends dark disco and Italo synths to create a John Carpenter-meets-Robyn paracusia.

 For every track, there is a video; a cinematic episode that, to Indiana, is as important as the songs themselves. Recently, she released the video for ‘Heart on Fire’, a desert town scene entrenched in hidden messages regarding masculinity and femininity. She writes, directs and stars in many of these visuals, using a handpicked crew of her own. When I’m writing songs, I’m thinking about the videos,” she reveals. “A pop video dictates that it should be the girl you see on stage, plonked into the video. But my songs are stories, so I want to immerse myself into the role of that person. In ‘Mess Around’, I’m an ice queen. I look different in each one.”

 For a short career, with only two years of writing music, Indiana has managed to make lightweight of her bucket list. During summer 2013, whilst six months pregnant, she took to the stage at Glastonbury to perform a captivating live set. And, before that, she had the unlikely honour of performing to Her Majesty the Queen at the new BBC studios. Her cover of David Bowie’s ‘Changes’ summoned a solitary and comedic clap from Elizabeth.

 Her music is testament to a flourishing new front for pop music. There is a growing rejection of the excessive electro hooks, novelty gimmicks and hyper-sexualisation that have become the pillars of mainstream pop. This rebuff favours a more minimal and musical approach. Indiana thrives on removing the over-synthesised fanfare of commercial pop, and reducing it to the most subtle and precious elements. This is pure, intellectual and cinematic pop music, with a clear aim and a deft execution.

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Coventry born and Nottingham based Robin Hearn and Liam Arnold started their musical journey in 2012 with the release of their debut EP ‘Forever For Now' via influential British label Hot Flush. The four tracks demonstrated the duo’s ability to combine intricate sounds with strong melodies, a lush mix of dense soundscapes and textures, providing a perfect backdrop for Liam’s haunting falsetto. The soulful vocals drew comparisons to James Blake and their hazy style of electronica, rich with ambience hinted at the astral sounds of Boards of Canada and Mount Kimbie. After winning support from Zane Lowe, Annie Mac, Huw Stephens and Tom Robinson and remixing the likes of MO and Laura Doggett, the pair spent time refining their trademark sound and the result is 2 new tracks, ‘Serenity’ and 'Cut Me Loose'.

Please note this is a 14+ event.