Indica - A Way Away (Nuclear Blast/Riot)

Finnish girls prove they rock in English as well as they do in their mother tongue.

Finnish all-girl gothic pop bands aren’t exactly ten a penny, so, whilst Indica are undoubtedly large fish in a very small pond, they are still really rather spiffing – and they pack enough crossover appeal to conquer the mainstream if handled the right way.

 

For their fifth release they’ve decided, for the first time, to record in English and, whilst this decision means some of their quirky (to the English-hearing ear at least) charm is immediately removed, there’s still a huge amount on A Way Away with which to become enamoured.

 

Album opener Island of Lights sees the girls at their heaviest (think: some of Nightwish’s poppier moments – Amaranth f’rinstance), whilst elsewhere the pure pop sensibilities of Scissor, Paper, Rock won’t fail to get you grinning like a loon.

But the band is at its best on a pair of aching, melancholic ballads, the second of which, the album’s title track, is so good it wouldn’t have gone amiss on one of Kate Bush’s late seventies/early eighties ouvres. The other, Lilja’s Lament, is pure whimsy, containing a compelling performance from vocalist Jonsu that will delight and unsettle in equal parts. Add all this to the likes of the strangely insistent Straight and Arrow – an eerie, blackened nursery rhyme that wouldn’t seem out of place on the soundtrack to something directed by Tim Burton – and you have a surprisingly enchanting, beguiling release. I’m hooked.

 

Indica's A Way Away is out now on Nuclear Blast/Riot.