Ando Gro – Half Life
Ando Gro’s slightly off kilter indie piano tunes roll back and forth, dragging the listener along on a curious journey of investigation.
Album opener ‘Everything Changes’ sees the lead vocals lean a little towards Damon Albarn, while so many flourishes come and go throughout the track – little choral moments, glacial twinkles, and psychedelic guitar solo bursts. The album works well as an indie/folk/psych crossover: ‘Half Life’ is so laid back and unconcerned, and yet offers enough tone and curiosity for the listener to fall into its rabbit hole of intrigue. Add to the mix the drum loops, particularly on ‘Silk Knife’ as they flicker and scatter themselves in the background, forming an ever shifting foundation for the track. If things were more stripped back, it would be easy to see some similarities between Ando Gro and the song construction of Bon Iver, although there are some slightly more aggressive tones to be found, particularly on the forceful guitar on ‘Underneath’, which eventually begins to sound influenced by early era R.E.M. It’s these changes in dynamics that make the album such a pleasant route to pass through. Ando Gro’s style is distinctive enough to be recognisable as very much his own, but the music is also varied enough to never feel like we are simply hearing different versions of the same song.