Andrew West is the name of a band, led by West, that formed at the beginning of last year. They are located in Prince of Wales Island up in Alaska, and their isolated beginnings have led them to create an intriguing, unique and electrifying record. Making a positive impact in their community is at the core of what they do.
Andrew West’s seven-track EP entitled Stihl Heads is the perfect, short tracklist for those looking to keep their head ‘stihl’. It’s easy listening, but by no means is it dull listening. The opener “Pretty Mama” is a country-esque poppy, upbeat track driven by a joyous, laidback acoustic chord progression and a gentle, punchy drum beat. West’s vocals, which are occasionally joined in harmony by the other members of the band, are soothing and sweet.
“Rolling By” continues the chilled-out, almost-psychedelic atmosphere, as it opens with sliding, bending, incredibly-satisfying electric guitar notes and a catchy acoustic guitar chord progression. West’s vocals, once again, are clear and prominent, yet restrained and soothing. The mellow vibes of this track are addictive. Think of a country road trip through outer space. This is the relaxation of country music mixed with the otherworldly insanity of psychedelia. It’s addictive, but soothingly so.
“Take Me Home Again” is another example of Andrew West reinventing itself. A catchy vocal line, both in terms of lyrics and melody, adopts a bluesy rhythm, rooted in the stylistic tendencies of country music and akin to punchy singer-songwriters, such as Garth Brooks and other classics. Punchy drum beats, a sweet and soothing acoustic guitar chord progression and West’s harmonic vocals all combine to create a perfectly soothing experience. A melodic climax adds another layer of surprise to the track, but you can listen for yourself if you want to see what I mean.
Reinventing himself yet again, “The Bridge Builder” was a welcome treat amongst an EP comprised mainly of country, folkish tracks. This soothing track, packed full of eastern vibes, is driven by a dark acoustic chord progression, flickers of flute arpeggios and West’s dark, low, mellow vocals. It sounds as if it could have been the soundtrack to some epic film depicting a fantastical odyssey through a desert or forest in a foreign land.
If you’re looking for a new indie artist with a palatable sound, then give Andrew West a listen.
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