Powerful. Heart-felt. Punchy. Andy Martin is a fairly fresh face on the scene, but he won’t be forgotten anytime soon. The Brissie based indie rocker has been trickling singles over the year that has been building to the release of his debut EP. A cohesive record that navigates love, life and everything in between; an impactful record that sings of lows yet leaves us on a high.
Recorded over 12 months out at Airlock Studios under the tutelage of Ian Haug (Powderfinger, The Church) alongside James See, this is one that’s garnered serious amounts of anticipation. We here at LivewireAU stan the absolute sh*t out of Andy Martin, so believe us when we say we’re so pumped to give you the first listen to Andy Martin’s debut EP Living in the Heat of it All.
With a sound that settles quite nicely in the Sam Fender/Dermot Kennedy camp of musicians, Andy Martin brings a new voice to the indie rock party. There's emotion embedded right down to the tonality of his vocals which seeps into every song he writes. The gritty and earnest tone is accompanied with a boisterous driving rock sound that incorporates horns, sophisticated production and palpable tension that’s tied together in the earnest storytelling of the Queenslander. Look, it's bloody good.
The record opens with his heart on his sleeve, and to be honest, it stays there through the record's entirety. ‘My Heat's Not Beating In Time’ sparks the electric, stormy atmosphere of the EP; the sound is big, and the lyrics are heavy. "Please don’t go / though you’re hurting me and I’m hurting you," laments Martin. Love sometimes isn't always right.
‘Mess We Made’ and ‘Heat Of It All’, two of the leading singles of the EP, whilst thrown in the mix of a powerful record, still manage to stand out. With ‘Mess We Made’ featuring a howling vocal solo à la Mumford and Sons’ ‘Little Lion Man’ and ‘Heat Of It All’ being one of the most addictive indie rock releases of the year, there is no doubt Andy Martin really knows how to write an earworm of a hook.
Previously unreleased ‘Just Tell Me’ is an unsuspecting highlight of the EP. After four serious heaving hitting tracks, Martin pulls us back. Introducing Bianca Power layering on haunting vocals, it builds into cathartic call and response, as we finally hear the other side of Martin’s story. Crescendoing back into Martin's usual huge sound, the build is gorgeous, powerful, emotional and God it makes you feel - A personal highlight for me.
Pulling back and sling-shotting forward, Martin is a master of the delicate tightrope of tension. Building up each of his songs to a relieving breakdown or solo has us hanging on to his every word and hook. We are able to feel his journey, every twist and turn of it.
‘I don’t know what I’m thinking / But I know it’s time to say goodbye’ brings us to the end of this love story with ‘Let This Go Again’. This might not be the happy ending we were hoping for, as the record comes to an end, so does this relationship. Though that doesn’t mean Martin isn’t going out with a bang. In a very ‘things might be shit, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun’ vibe and it truly leaves you buzzing for the future.
Despite running for only six tracks, the record encompasses so many nuances of a relationship. Though we deal with the overarching love and loss, the subtle details of self-doubt, finding your place in this world and finding yourself, Martin's shows songwriting well beyond his years.
For a debut, this is huge. Martin might be fresh on the scene, but now he's here, he's not going anywhere.
Check out the live review