Thursday, September 16, 2010

Music Review - Ian Marquis

Ian Marquis is a solo artist I came across (uh-oh, here it is again) on reddit. It seems he's decided to go in a direction that would almost be toying with the listener. If you aren't sure what that means, listen to the first minute or so of the first track from his new album The Shivers, "Diamond Dust", and you'll understand what I mean.

Playing all the instruments himself, producing, and mixing shows that Mr. Marquis has a great deal of talent. I'm not sure if there is a genre to fit this, but I guess I'll try with retro-80's style/synth-pop/punchy/emo/gothic/new wave tunes. I don't think iTunes has a genre title like that, but then, their idea of genre is pretty limited.

Many of the lyrics are delivered in a languid, apathetic voice which still carry the emotion of the song, seeming to range from relationships to becoming an adult and wondering what exactly that means anymore. The guitar tracks are smooth, not reaching for superstar solo quality but coming in as accentuation more than bravado, (again, you'll "get" this when you hear the closing solo to "Going Down").

Ian Marquis' synth work made me want to tease up my non-existent hair, call a party-line and head down to the local new wave club. It's brilliantly pulsating and drives each song in a direction that would be lacking without synth there. Given the style, I am even willing to overlook the drum machine abuse going on. As I've said before, as a drummer I know there are places where drums could be user and aren't. With the exception of "Redline" (which would benefit from live drums), the drum machine use is tastefully done.

All in all, a great listen, kind of nostalgic, but original enough to let it stand on its own laurels.

Where to find it:

  • Streaming and for download here at bandcamp

  • Hopefully it will show on iTunes soon, I'll update this when it happens

RIYL: early NIN, late Ned's Atomic Dustbin, any era Depeche Mode


iglidante said...

Hey, I just wanted to publicly thank you for doing this review. It's tough to get attention, and I really appreciate the time you took to listen to everything and give your honest feedback.

PJ Hagerty said...

Thanks for the comment. Sorry it took so long to respond but I guess I turned the "let me know when there is a comment" thing off.

I'm glad to help. As a musician myself I always crave feedback. I hope to have someone help me out in the same way someday.

Let me know when you have some new stuff available.

iglidante said...

Hey there! I couldn't find your email address in my inbox, since it's been a while, but I wanted to let you know that I have a new album out. Actually, I released another one after The Shivers, back in the end of 2011 - but this one is brand new, as of this month. I'd love to get your thoughts on it, if you're still interested.