By David Geraci
Andy Blunda, former Fastball guitarist, released his second solo EP, Messages, last week. The EP was laboriously self-produced in his home studio in North Hollywood. After extensive touring and recording with the likes of Rick Ruben and Paloalto, Andy decided to focus on his own material—material he’d been tentatively penning for the past decade. His sound is a fresh blend of ‘80s new wave and moody indie pop, resulting in a cohesive layering of songs five tracks deep.
Messages kicks off with “A Broken Case.” The song crescendos into a sullen groove that seems to exemplify what the whole album is about, building upon itself gradually at its own pace. By the time the vocal melody line comes in, you’re back in the ‘80s again—and if you were never there to begin with, welcome to the ‘80s!
The album continues to chug along with “If You Want Me.” The song is a departure from the previous track, yet it’s similar in some distinctive ways. It seems to meld with the general tone set by “A Broken Case;” it’s light, whimsically driven, and has a dreamy introspection that’s altogether palatable and wondrous.
The songs aren’t equipped with hard-hitting hooks, but the title track comes as close as indie dream will allow for. “Messages” opens with scratchy, rhythmic guitars forming a collage of twangs set with bridge pickups on high. You let your guard down only for a minute before the background harmonies come sweeping in—Is it a chorus? It certainly feels like one. The harmonies are accompanied with shimmering keyboard arpeggios that seem to put the dream in indie dream pop. The song sparkles in all the right places.
The final two tracks are just as rewarding as the first three, and together, all these little gems sparkle with a wave of refreshing brilliance. The final track “The Money Side” seems to guide you out of the depths of where Messages brought you. …Only to return you to the comforts of a deep slumber where you may have just dreamt the whole thing.
Check out Messages yourself here!