REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

A Dark, Alluring Album; Introducing Indiana's Debut "No Romeo"

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

In 2012 Lauren Henson first performed as Indiana at a local music competition in Nottingham and although she did not win, two years later her life has completely changed as she releases her debut album “No Romeo.”

Indiana has gained much support, from her local music scene in Nottingham, to her music being blogged about worldwide on a daily basis. Her distinctively haunting vocals accompanied by atmospheric electronic synths are slowly becoming her signature sound as proven throughout “No Romeo.”

From the initial breathy ‘huh-huhs’ on opening track “Never Born” to the eerie ending of “Mess Around”, the dark, emotional allure of the album captivates the listener to realise that this is a record of the night, of the darker side of disco. With heavy influence from 80s Electronica, Indiana creates reflective narratives on love and heartbreak through her independent attitude, whilst also capturing climatic, dancy beats through a range of synth and guitar arrangements. Recent single “Solo Dancing” produces a rhythmic sound of constant electronic beats, already making it a classic dark pop song.

Whilst the majority of the album blends into stylistic synthy arrangements accompanied by the artist’s sharp, clear voice, there are a few surprises in store. Notably, seventh track “New Heart” as it takes a softer more dreamlike tone, particularly through the presence of the echoy sounding backing vocals.

Although they are still present, “New Heart” is a pleasantly sounding pop song, midway through an album heavily reliant on the use of electronic synths. Penultimate track, “Only the Lonely” also stands out, with an almost uplifting feel built up through Indiana’s high-pitched vocals, accompanied by the freely crashing synths and detection of strings used in the arrangement to produce a perfectly reflective pop song and potential future single.

Yet, the album centers on dark, emotional themes about the bitterness of love as expressed through Indiana’s haunting vocals on a number of tracks. “Bounds” honest lyrics voiced through her sultry, sharp voice accompanied by the crescendo of the electric guitar, creates a sinister sound, setting up dark dancy rhythms, whilst the repetitious lyrics, “This isn’t love, it’s dangerous” are left echoing in your ear.

“Jack” also enhances the ruthless feel of the album as Indiana seeks revenge on a past lover. The repetitious chant-like chorus gives an almost nursery-rhyme feel to the song, heightening the emotional bitterness Indiana has invited upon us.

A consistent album, centering on impulses of modern and past Electronica, "No Romeo" portrays Indiana’s artistic talent and strong willed character, laying bare her emotional journey throughout. Whilst some songs do have the ability to blend together, Indiana’s sublime vocals do a good job of making up for this. A promising debut album from a strong artist who as she states, will take no Romeos.

Album released 01/09/2014

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Written by Jessica Salter