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Chords of Indigo - Labyrinth (self-released)

29 March 2024

Wow, that’s quite a voice. Actually, it’s quite a sound in general, but the voice in all its emotive, fracted and fabulous glory is what hits you first. And then, slowly, you notice the rest of the song filling out the space behind – an anthemic indie-rock salvo built of ebbs and flows of shifting dynamics ranging from whispered intimacies to sky-searing crescendos.

Swathes of punchy guitars and violin riffs, propulsive beats and punctuating bass lines act as the crests of the sonic wave that break brilliantly on the listener and push the song to even greater heights.

The song sits at the crossroads where the more ornate sound of folk-rock meets the power of well-honed indie and dark-pop infectiousness connects with rock energy. It is a very precise and purposeful place and it is perhaps only in such a sweet spot (sweet in both the geographical and sonic sense of the word) that a song like this could exist.

But it is more than just being about being in the right place at the right time; things are never that simple. And one of Lee Hornsby’s, the man behind the moniker) great gifts is finding only the best aspects in all those genres. He avoids the nostalgia that often weighs down folk, the cooler-than-thou posturing of indie, the lowest common denominator attitudes of pop and rock’s cliche, taking only the best elements of each sound or scene and using those to weave his delicious musical design.

This is my first taste of Chords of Indigo; on the strength of “Labyrinth” it will certainly not be my last.