Isaac Indiana – Borderlines

by Colin Bugler

Devon-based quintet Isaac Indiana’s debut album, Borderlines, is a success full to the brim with highly listenable, guitar-centred indie rock/pop that showcases the band’s considerable musical talent, songwriting ability, and ear for a big chorus. The band describes their style as “dangerously upbeat and catchy”, a claim that fortunately holds up over the course of the record.

The opening tune, Intro, clearly defines the feel of the album. It lays out a theme returned to in the following titular track, where Tom Sturges provides a catchy acoustic riff against the crooning vocals of Andy Jackson. Highlights include the sixth track, You And I, a slow-burning tale of prospective romance, featuring a muted guitar riff and folky vocal harmonies. I could certainly see myself singing along to this one on the Friday Timepiece dance floor. In terms of the overall album, Lights, the ninth track, seems to epitomise the band’s sound, with Sturges channelling the vintage guitar sounds of bands like The Black Keys and The Kooks with a tasteful solo.

A tight rhythm section frpm Sam Hall on drums, and Ben Houghton on bass underpins the band’s sound, leaving room for the heavy guitar and melodic piano sounds at the core of the album. Ben Homer’s solid work on keys is evident on tracks such as Take It And Run. However, the record is far from formulaic. The band prove that they can deliver a soulful ballad with tracks like White Horses. They also seem unafraid to experiment, delivering classic-rock organ tones on the opening of Loud And Clear. All in all, a highly impressive debut!