18 May 2022

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Indie Soull - Album Review: The Book of Angels

17 Mar 2021 // A review by Trevor Faville

Indie Soull is the working name for much-travelled author and musician Mutch Katsonga and The Book of Angels is his latest release and forms part of an extensive catalogue of work that stretches back to 2016.

The Book of Angels is an eight-track album including two versions of the final song The Lord Taketh Away that projects the voice of an experienced, mature and considered singer-songwriter. This collection centres around the voice, framed mostly by piano/acoustic guitar/double bass and pedal steel, and a touch of cello. The mood is introspective and intimate-and references the names and places that are felt through the writer's itinerant history- he is a much-travelled man, and this certainly informs his lyrical approach, if not in content then certainly in delivery.

The two strongest songs are the Opener California and titular The Book of Angels. They both lay out a confident stylistic palette. Melody is to the fore, over a sophisticated and musically informed backing, given plenty of room in the production to breathe. Both songs show a deft and experienced hand in terms of lyrical and dynamic structure-witness the build in intensity from verse-to-chorus-to-bridge in The Book of Angels. The overall vibe invokes the feel of Katsonga’s current home of New York while the lyrical content favours the plaintive and melancholy-reflecting a travelers sense of loss and wanderlust.

Certainly, listeners of the Americana genre will find familiar sonic and lyrical touchstones, and one is also put in mind of the work of Luke Thompson’s album Here On The Ground as a local reference. While the motivation and context for the songs is hard to discern, and the instrumental contributors remain anonymous, this is an accomplished collection.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About Indie Soull

Auckland Singer/Songwriter Indie Soull has performed at several venues across London, New York and Australasia, releasing a series live acoustic albums before the pandemic. Since then he has been quietly recording and releasing new material written during quarantine/lockdown and beyond.

"Not quite in the dark introverted styles of Elliott Smith and Joni Mitchell nor in the pop stylings of Ed Sheeran and James Blunt. Indie Soull is clearly a talented Singer/Songwriter with a real knack for writing the kind of stripped back earworm tune that can gain mass appreciation without losing meaning along the way." - Words In The Earth, UK.

"Great voice! Great songwriting chops!" - Diversion Records.

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