Australian indie musician, songwriter and music producer Andrew Hetherington dabbles in a wide range of musical styles. “I make music that moves my soul, that makes me jive, play air guitar and feel good,” states Andrew. And that is about where his musical borders begin and end. From 80s retro-wave songs and instrumental pop tunes, to down-tempo and chill-out flavored arrangements, Hetherington’s major musical common denominator are his influences, which are drawn from the 70s and 80s, “and characterized by a strong melody, tight harmony and time-honored rhythms,” claims Andrew. All of which brings us to his very latest, album release – “Ones And Zeros” which is bathed in downtempo motifs.
I am a huge fan of Andrew Hetherington, and I can seriously tell you that the range of music in this album is outstanding. Each track is diverse and has a beauty full of richness that is so pleasing to the ears, it is practically enigmatic. The music is amazing. Although it uses heavy beats in many places, it doesn’t feel overwhelming in any way.
Usually when you listen to instrumentals, the music sounds incomplete because it is lacking that harmonic layer. This never happens on this album, and wherever Hetherington feels he needs some extra melodic juice, he brings in the female voices to complete the job.
Every track is a complete piece of music, with many complex layers coming together to make the most amazing, yet easily accessible music ever. The only uniformity to the deep, melodic sound of this album is the resonant quality and excellent evolution through the course of each track.
“Cetacea Chorus” opens things and it’s safe to say, if you like this you’ll like Andrew Hetherington’s music. This is Andrew at his best, a great airy and ethereal track with a solid beat, sampled dolphins, pianos, strings and plenty more in the mix. A track you can bob your head to, and relax to at the same time. This is chilled perfection.
“Dreamland” is darker, more ominous in its approach, but the shimmering piano keys give it a shiny exterior. “Forbidden Love” is effectively a vocal track, which rides on a driving drum beat, and a thick layer of keyboards. “The Journey” is among the highlights here with its straight ahead drum and bass pattern, embellished by rock guitar interludes. As the title insinuates, “The Piper” has a playful and engaging aura.
Just past the halfway mark, we encounter “Intemporal”, the single release lifted from the album. The electric guitar keeps this track dynamic, interesting and varied throughout, and definitely is its dominating element. Then there’s the bass heavy, almost funk-infused, “Turn Off The Lights”, to make sure the album maintains its head-nodding momentum. “Dark Angel” 4 minute aural journey, accompanied by lush strings, rolling basslines, and an ever-present piano melody.
“Home”, is another standout. A synth loop with electronically altered strings gives way to a thumping beat before the clean electric guitar, carries the lovely melody. Just an achingly beautiful piece of mid-tempo music. Now shut your eyes, allowing your remaining senses to bask in the utter dynamicity of the album’s closing moments on “Rainy Days”. It’s clear that Hetherington has his craft down to a fine art.
So ultimately does “Ones And Zeros” live up to my high expectations? Yes, and then some. Andrew Hetherington is a master at producing downtempo electronic music with heavy beats, lots of effects and voices thrown into the mix. To call it electronic music almost seems unfair, as it implies this is music made by machinery.
This could not be further from the truth as Hetherington’s music is pumping with life and emotion. These are 1o tracks of stunning depth, the kind of album where you just need to throw the headphones on, turn the lights out, close your eyes and get lost in.
The “Ones And Zeros” album is set for release on the independent Jam Junkie label on January 9, 2020. It will then be available for streaming and purchase at all online stores.