08 June 2019 (released)
20 June 2019
The lure of Americana songwriting is a strong one. The proof is in the latest EP from singer-songwriter, Andy the Crocodile. The project is the creative outlet for Anand Manivannan from Chennai, India, a musician who grew up under the tutelage of his father, renowned Nadaswaram player S.R.D. Vaidyanathan. As many Western musicians have turned east for inspiration, this Eastern musician looked to the west, finding influence from the likes of The Frames' Glen Hansard, Jason Mraz and in his heavier moments, Led Zeppelin. On his latest record, the Scars & Wounds EP, Andy takes a ponderous yet whimsical look at the trials and successes that have got him to where he is today.
'Hope' begins with a jaunty sunny afternoon guitar squashed into a tight transistor radio midrange. The happily shuffling chords are met with a nostalgically youthful lead and childhood touchstone bells. Andy's vocal melody gives a not so subtle nod to contemporary Jason Mraz's big hit 'I'm Yours'. He slips in and out of falsetto with a playful ease. The lyrics give a gentle but steady push to go after your dreams. A song in league with any of the Johnson's and Mraz's of the happy beach pop ilk. The lullaby motif goes even further with 'Sleep Well My Child'. The acoustic is delicately strummed, the bells continue to give a sense of protected comfort and the harmonies are warm and inviting.
'The Whammy Girl' has a dual personality with a verse embracing bluegrass-tinged Americana and a chorus that leaps into heartland rock n roll. Jumping between Old Crow Medicine Show and Foo Fighters from one section to the next. The song echoes the relationship between the country boy protagonist and a rocker girl. The song ends strong with a shredding classic rock solo. To round out the album, 'Just Another Love Song' is a sweet sauntering musing. A love song build on the triplet strumming and walking lead-ins of classic Western guitarists like Hank Williams.
When you reflect on the trajectory that got you to where you are today, you're looking back at a younger, more naive you. It makes sense that the correlating music involves a certain elementary playfulness. Andy the Crocodile's EP is light fare for warm summer evenings.