Andy Shea is a Massachusetts-based indie rocker with a distinct focus on simplicity. Braver, his most recent 4-track EP, is only a sampling of his off-kilter work but serves as a humble introduction to an otherwise talented songwriter.
Braver starts off with Andy singing lazily in his naturally low register. Paired with just an acoustic guitar and some slow percussion, “Trees” establishes his lonesome but powerful style. The title track picks up the tempo and widens the arrangement; bringing in keys, drums and bass, along with a much fuller vocal presence. It’s in this piece that Andy’s songwriting abilities truly begin to shine.
“The Wolf in the Woods” slows everything back down again, standing strong as an introspective droner. While the piece does have some endearing qualities, it is the weakest of the bunch, and relies a bit too heavily on repetition. Luckily we have “Time Has Said it All” to finish off the EP with a combination of traits hinted at in the prior three tracks. The piece fuses Andy’s low vocals with uptempo percussion and memorable melodies. He even throws in some well placed harmonies which add even more spice to an otherwise full palette.
His nonchalance infuses a certain subtlety to his songs, a characteristic that defines his sound as much as it questions it. While instrumentation is of the standard indie rock flavor, Andy does wonders with what he’s got. Pulling inspiration from the likes of David Bazan, Rivers Cuomo and Elliot Smith, I’d also compare his sound to that of Brand New and Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s.
As with a great many singer/songwriters, his vocals are ultimately what define his style, though the attention to detail found in Braver has made me ponder the possibility of a full-length. Only time will tell, but I know I’m excited.
Andy is currently looking to set up some intimate living room shows, so if you’re in the Boston/New England area and have a desire to help out, contact Andy at email@example.com to set something up. Production for the EP was done by Brian Koerber who is currently working for Wreckroom Records (wreckroom.tv). Vic Preato IV is the man behind the cover art and more of his original, extremely talented artwork can be found at victorpreato.blogspot.com.
Take a listen to my home-brewed instrumental/electronic/indie album
"Where Were We When" and download it for as many coconuts as you can spare.
Coconuts are delicious, though their milk tastes like pond water.