Mandy, Indiana create genre-spanning music that combines the best of experimental post-punk, electronic and industrial. Their debut EP, mysteriously entitled ‘…‘, gives us a concise and exciting glimpse of just what the band are all about.
For an EP that consists of just three main songs, ‘…’ does an impressive job of demonstrating Mandy, Indiana’s capabilities. The opening track ‘Bottle Episode’ swings back and forth between tightly wound vocal sections and moments of deep, unaccompanied bass. It is heavily reminiscent of Kanye West‘s ‘Black Skinhead’ in its primal, accented drums and rhythmical vocal phrasing. Frontwoman Valentine Caulfield delivers every lyric in her native French, spitting each syllable until the sounds take on a chant-like quality.
The EP’s second song ‘Nike of Samothrace’ begins with stripped back drums before fuzzy guitars are introduced. Caulfield chatters away, her chirpy voice at odds with such harsh instrumentals. This is a common theme throughout the EP; while we often associate the French language with beauty and romance, Mandy, Indiana subvert this expectation, juxtaposing soft with hard, sweet with bitter. ‘Bon nuit!’ calls Caulfield in a song-song tone, and a cowbell chimes in response. ‘Nike of Samothrace’ gives way to a revving bass riff two thirds of the way through, the vocals competing with it for centre stage as if the pair had recorded the song next to a Formula 1 track.
‘Alien 3’ moves more into industrial dance beats, and there is a certain likeness to London trio PVA‘s music in the sultry vocals and the way that the snares trip over one another. It is more abstract than the previous two tracks: a vibrating bassline and an ceaseless kick drum continue throughout, joined by strange, unidentifiable sounds. The song stops abruptly, shifting into a noisy, rumbling wig out before launching back into the same familiar rhythm once again. The EP then contains two remixes, the first being Daniel Avery‘s reworking of ‘Alien 3’. He takes the dark, industrial feel even further, Caulfield’s voice becoming indecipherable as it stutters erratically over pounding techno beats. The second is the Club Eat remix of ‘Nike of Samothrace’, during which the already energetic talking is sped up to become a giddy French blur.
Mandy, Indiana cite the filmmaker Gaspar Noe as one of their influences, and it shows in this EP. Each track is enigmatic and uncompromising, and the EP feels almost animalistic in character. ‘…’ might be quite a small body of work, but it is a very strong opening statement from the Manchester newcomers. Mandy, Indiana may well be a name that becomes more familiar to us all in the near future.
Mandy, Indiana’s debut EP … is out Friday 9th November, and you can listen here