Joining forces in 2013 Ian Harris and Peter McCold initially began as a jam band but it didn’t take too long for them to write some proper tunes. The first track they ever wrote together entitled “Andromeda Sun” would soon become the name of their band as well as the name of their debut album.
I have to say off the bat that the album cover is a bit misleading. I thought I was in store for a band that might sound like the Grateful Dead and Phish but instead was treated to a vocalist who sounds closer to Jay Kay from Jamiroquai than Jerry Garcia. Andromeda Sun is an eclectic band that combines elements of psychedelia, blues and soul into a submersive concoction of sounds. The sounds come from a rich variety of organic instrumentation that in addition to your standard rock formation of guitar, drums and bass have viola, trombone, lap steel and keys.
One of the first notable aspects of the debut album that jumped out to me was the overall production and aesthetics. The tone of guitars to the space in between felt more grounded in production than you would hear from a rock band in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s than 2014. The producer Tiger Roberts didn’t over compress the drums or vocals like you hear on so many rock records in this day and age. Andromeda Sun sound like a real band playing in a room with real dynamics.
The first song “Andromeda Sun” is a good example of this. The seven-plus minute song features a crunchy lead guitar and an equally as impressive lead on the keys, which sounds great in the mix. There is definitely a bit of a Pink Floyd flavor on this first song when you hear the lyrics “We are one/We are love/One/Love.” The delivery is poignant, confident and grand.
The second track “Come Together” is a compact single-worthy song. It’s on this track that you notice how soulful and blues inspired the vocals are. The same type of delivery is manifested on “Express Connection” as the vocalist sings, “Conceive your life in the ground of your earth/The seed of your light shines in shadows and the dirt/Fertilized with family all shapes and sizes/We are wise in our infinite minds.” The song has a tranquil, relaxing vibe that feels great going down.
Overall, Andromeda Sun is a very solid showing from the young band. They have a surplus of influences on this album but also were able to carve out their own sound showcasing their originality.
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