Andrew Combs has probably become one of my favourite artists of the last couple of years. Since his appearance as part of the main stage acts at C2C Festival, his music has not left my playlist. Returning to the UK September 2016, Andrew played a string of intimate shows with an unforgettable acoustic performance.
Since Andrew was last in the UK he has got married (Congratulations) and recorded a new album titled Canyons Of My Mind which has been eagerly anticipated by fans and greatly received and highly recommended by critics.
Andrew already released the single Dirty Rain in February, Blood Hunters in March and released an exciting, Sci – Fi inspired video for Blood Hunters which is said to be inspired by the TV series Stranger Things. Andrew also released the song Rose Coloured Blues and each song gained a lot of attention and gave a strong indication of what to expect from Canyons Of My Mind.
Canyons Of My Mind does not disappoint, much like most of Combs’ music, Canyons Of My Mind is very ambient, orchestral, peaceful, relaxing, atmospheric and stunning with hauntingly beautiful melodies and vocals which send goosebumps down your arms. There is something about Andrew Combs and the way he sings that is just captivating and almost spiritual. I get totally lost in his vocals and taken to an almost dream-like state as if I have been hypnotised. His voice is perfection, emotive and melodious with such a stunning tone that just hits you. I can listen to the album in complete silence quite happily and invoke every single vocal and sound. Not every song is of a dream like way though, ironically the song Sleepwalking is a lot more upbeat and has a really nice toe tapping beat and wonderful Jazzy instrumentation.
Andrews songwriting is second to none. The artistry in his songs is rather poetic and simply beautiful. His lyrics are so far from what we hear in mainstream country music or even Americana really as Andrew falls between a fair few genres making it almost impossible to pin him down to any particular labelling. His writing is intriguing, interesting and inspiring and makes you want to really listen to every word to every song so that you can truly understand it.
Something about Canyons Of My Mind reminds me of elements of Radiohead – The Bends album mixed a little bit of some of The Beatles songs with its slight sixties style blended wonderfully with Folk-Country, Americana, Jazz and Soul music.
Every song is stand alone fantastic and the album has no fillers. There are more stand out tracks of course and songs such as Dirty Rain, Rose Coloured Blues and Blood Hunters prove exactly why they were chosen as singles. Blood Hunters in particular has a very strong sound throughout with an Americana-Rock vibe which is also slightly dark and gothic and not too distant from the music of label mates The Handsome Family although lacking the baritone of Brett Sparks. It also has a slight sixties rock feel to it and is a really exciting and electrifying song which has a slight dark element to it which reminds me of soundtracks from The Crow movies. No wonder he decided to use a movie styled video that as I mentioned above was inspired by Netflix’s Stranger Things.
If I was going to pick my favourites so far, I would choose;
Blood Hunters – described above
Borgeious King – It has a strong dark- rock element to it with a wonderful guitar, instrumental segment. The jazz piano gives the song a sharp edge with the bass giving it a bit more funk. Sonically, it reminds me slightly of Tales of Brave Ulysses by Cream which is a sound I think suits Andrew really well.
Dirty Rain – is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. Its melody and vocals entwine in such a stunning way and the song has a heavenly orchestral moment which brings the song to an even higher level. I hope that one day Andrew brings a show to The Royal Albert Hall and with an orchestra as I think it will be one of the most amazing experiences to witness.
Canyons Of Mind is one of those albums that I would recommend to fans of music, not just Country or Americana. If you appreciate a truly talented and phenomenal artist, then please give Andrew Combs a go as he is one of the best musicians of our time who really deserves a lot recognition.
You can download Canyons Of My Mind here
Canyons of My Mind by Andrew Combs
And can get it on cd and vinyl here;
Andrew is also touring the UK in May and he is a well worth live act to see. Info and tickets here;