EP Review: Indigo – ‘Please Sign Us To Your Label’.

“Do I admire the tenacity or balk at the ego of an EP entitled ‘Please Sign Us To Your Label’? Given that Indigo might just get what they ask for, I’m tempted to go with first option…”

I was ready to be put off – scratch that, I was – by the pluckysmug unplayful self deprecation that came with the bio and the music. Call yourself nondescript and indefinably irritating and that might well be my first impression. Don’t tell me I’d be right for thinking you’re losers, tell me how good you are, I might believe you… even before I start listening.

Lucky first impressions can be overwritten. Do I admire the tenacity or balk at the ego of an EP entitled ‘Please Sign Us To Your Label’? Given that Indigo might just get what they ask for, I’m tempted to go with first option.

This four track EP has two frustratingly loveable tracks with a smaller thrill set either side. We start with vocals in uneven loops that give way to piano, somewhere between lounge and grand indie. You can taste the fumes of candles flames swaying to a ballad that’s resting half made. Soft focus cameras could switch between angles and move to the speed of the down tempo track. It’s sweet and it’s plain, just shy of claws needed to keep you drawn in. We move to warm slush of clean weep guitars and sit pretty on saccharine charm. That charm starts to stutter, the whole track gets stuck on a skip-record loop that speeds and repeats to an up zipline fuzz… these are signs of left field new interest.

That fuzz works up and peaks and from there without pause, without a moment to wonder where Indigo are heading, I’m struck by an early Beech Boys bop vocal that sits on the politest of soft wahwah pinches. ‘Distant Lullaby’ is all clean strings and bounce that recalls jangle indie of 80s and 90s, it’s slick and it’s pretty, like Cherry Red pop.

Indigo know how to work out a tune. It’s sing along sticky where each break, backing vocal, percussive beat, chorus, small build and tiny variation is positioned with frightening precision. Sunshine seeps like lemonade light through the easy feel wincehappy vibe. It’s so close to those Chesterfields, Monochrome Set and decades old indie chart templates that it feeds off nostalgia and new. And with all of that said, in the ease of the sun and giddy good vibes there’s a faint hint of sad and it’s needed. We’re kept just a shade short of wholesome.

‘Will It Ever Come To Me’ picks up on that soft melancholy. Drums are swapped for hushed rattles of sticks, the main vocals that previously lived front and present are fed through an AM receiver. It’s a muted affair, softened, kept upright and tightened by acoustic glances. There’s an old time glow’s haze, a playful lilt, a flair for a play with production. It’s for suckers for romantic sadness and light, neither too laboured or weighted to fail. It’s an off-centre pleasure that keeps shifting focus with loose introductions of pianos and synths, never building but only expanding. Again there’s an ending that flirts with an interest in filters and glitches that I’d love to hear plucked out and nurtured.

Those interests are picked at but not quite embraced in the EP’s closing track ‘Bypass’. Like the first song of the record, it reaches just short of convincing. There’s intent and a pitch for a feeling. All those interesting all-too-brief electronic accents, I want them emboldened and used with conviction instead of sat stifled and buried. There’s an aim for a twitchy euphoria, let down only I suspect by confidence. Let this track be a template or B-side from which to sprawl and springboard from.

Those mid tracks are nondescript’s opposite, the antithesis of indefinably irritating. From this first EP take those tentative steps and head towards a something that glistens. And please ditch the glib introductions, remember that I want to like you – especially when something’s worth liking.

Indigo’s EP ‘Please Sign Us To Your Label’ is out now on all digital platforms. Find music, bio and tour dates right here.

Find highlights of this EP and other featured releases right here on Rats on Run Radio.