India Electric Co – The Gap

Album Review | Shoelay Music | Review by Allan Wilkinson

The second full-length album by the curiously named Devon duo India Electric Co. finds Cole Stacey and Joseph O’Keefe at their creative best, with eleven selections each of which are treated to highly inventive arrangements throughout. With so much music at our fingertips these days, cultural influences are not only easier to absorb into one’s work, but are almost inevitable and Stacey and O’Keefe make it their business to ensure that those influences are best placed. It’s so subtle that the borders are almost undetectable, leaving us with a music that is at once utterly engaging, yet slightly mysterious at the same time.

If Cole Stacey’s voice commands attention, then Joseph O’Keefe’s multi-instrumentalism provides more than a mere backdrop for the songs to live, but a rich palette of colour that is critical to the duo’s overall sound. “Five Senses” plays with flirtatious time signatures, whilst the lyric takes its inspiration from the poetry of Sarojini Naidu, the all too short song being an album standout. “Parachutes” once again takes inspiration from poetry, which in this case is blended with traditional Irish influences to good effect. In other places Robert Frost dances with Bembé rhythms (“Great Circles”) and not one but two concluding pieces are influenced by the duo’s experiences with Midge Ure (“Tempest I” and “Tempest II”). Throughout the relatively short album, there’s not a single note wasted. Despite the brightness and glow of the songs on The Gap, the duo have managed to wrap the disc in a sleeve that even makes a rainbow look dull. Not sure what the thinking was here, but the music compensates more than satisfactorily.

Choice Track: Five Senses (NSV 501)