Joyous, juicy jangles from Grimsby’s indie-rockers, Indigo Bay
Release Date: 9th November 2022
Label: Heist or Hit Records
Formats: Download, Streaming
First then, an introduction. Indigo Bay are a four-piece outfit from Grimsby, Lincolnshire. When the guys met, during their college days, they were all involved in different bands, all growing just a little bored, and all looking for something fresh, challenging and invigorating. And they found what they were looking for when they pooled their talents to form Indigo Bay. The band members are: Callum Minks on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, George Gray on bass, Amias Burrows on drums and Alex Plater on lead guitar, and the sound that they make is poppy and joyous, packed with juicy jangles and tight, driving rhythms. If I was to offer any comparisons, I’d suggest that they have taken their cue from The Stone Roses, added a bit of attitude and structure from Joy Division and then sprinkled on a little Nile Rodgers sophistication – just for good measure.
It hasn’t always been easy going for Indigo Bay. Grimsby isn’t the first town you’d maybe think of, if you were compiling a list of indie-rock hotbeds. Indeed, as the band explains, your standard Grimsby audience is more likely to be enraptured by a dose of post-Thatcher nihilism or a burst of nu-metal than by the jangly, poppy strains that Indigo Bay have on offer, but they’ve persevered and, by applying a special ingredient they’ve discovered, they’ve started to generate the waves to carry them forward: “The majority of our friends that were in bands or in the arts have ended up working at the docks, fish factory or something similar because that feels like the only option. In a sense, coming from Grimsby gave us an unnatural energy to be creative. We originally wanted to be the band in town that could get people up dancing, but the scene is overwhelmed by metal and hard rock. Supporting metal bands locally isn’t what we had in mind. We’ve coined this ‘Grimsby Grit’ and that’s an element of our sound.”
Well – call it Grimsby Grit, or call it anything you like… There’s certainly a magical ingredient that makes the music on After Dark irresistible!
Bats, the EP’s opener has actually been around for a while. It’s the lead single from the EP and it started doing the rounds – to great acclaim, I’m pleased to be able to report – back in August. The synthy introduction is something of a surprise, but things soon settle into the jangly guitars and driving rhythm that I’d been expecting as I was reading the EP’s press release. George’s bass is rock solid and provides a firm foundation for everything the band lay on top of it; the sound is tight and intense and, when Callum sings “I really, really want it – won’t you give it to me” (“It” being the recognition and attention that the band feel they deserve from their home-town audience), you know that he really, really means it. A great opener that leaves the listener thirsty for more.
Slower, and more considered than Bats, second track, Bottled, is built around that same, strong bass pulse and some tasty, twangy guitar lines. It’s a hauntingly tuneful song, strongly reminiscent of one of The Stone Roses more mellow offerings – Bye Bye Badman, perhaps. If anything, things get even more mellow with Papercuts, the latest of the three singles to preview this collection. It’s a dreamy number with distinct Nile Rodgers R&B overtones and the balance and production are spot-on. As for the lyrics – well, they describe the conflict that many of have faced at one time or another – that of being in a failing relationship but not having the courage to leave it; as Callum explains: “It’s about having self-doubt and not feeling like you’re worth anything. Looking forward to sleeping, to dream about a better situation.”
The sounds of the early 1990s are, perhaps, evoked most accurately on Lost, a song characterized by its relentless drum rhythm, understated vocals and the quasi-orchestral theme that breaks out as the chorus kicks in. The whole thing is decorated by a wonderful guitar lick, and I found myself marveling at the maturity of the band’s sound – particularly remarkable, given the early stage they’re at with their career.
It’s always a good idea to save the best until last, and that’s precisely what Indigo Bay have done with After Dark. Say What You Wanna Say, released as a single in September, is tight and chugging, with an irresistibly poppy chorus, a song that demonstrates just quite what Indigo Bay are all about.
After Dark is a thoroughly enjoyable debut collection from a band that, with a fair wind and the right breaks, could really be onto something. They’ve already attracted the attention of Jack Saunders, Radio 1’s indie-in-chief; let’s hope that he gives them the exposure that After Dark deserves.
These boys could go far…!
Watch the official video to Bats, the EP’s opening track, here:
Categories: EP Review