Andrew Hetherington – “Visitors” – the mastery of crafting a concept album!
I’m a huge fan of Andrew Hetherington, going back to his work in the 2019, such as “Life Is Strange”. I’m honestly amazed by his skill, determination, and prowess in building a personal brand and sonic aesthetic that sets him apart from his peers and contemporaries. He does just about everything right, and for the right reasons — because that is how he wants to do things. His story of persistence in a highly competitive genre seemingly designed for electronic nerds and young upstarts is an example to anyone who dreams of creating anything of value. There is just something authentic and immersive about Andrew’s art.
The eight tracks on his latest concept album, “Visitors”, are storytelling and environmental soundscapes executed so well that you would think they were lifted from an A-list sci-fi blockbuster film. It is amazing how these pieces along with breathtaking arrangements create such a compelling experience. You will want to experience the album by listening in a single setting without shuffling or skipping around – a rarity in modern musical releases.
As can be almost certainly gauged by the title, “Visitors” is inspired by reports of UFO sightings and extraterrestrial visitors. The album, constructed on an irresistible dose of synthwave instrumentals, was released on January 9 2022.
A driving electronic beat, catchy chorus, progressive intensity, and an urgent message in “Lights In Rendlesham Forest”, may all cause you to hit repeat a few times before even going further into the album. Polished and raw at the same time, this anthem will hold your attention.
More synth-driven momentum, rock style percussion, and cinematic in execution, “(Here Come) The Saucers” declares the existence of an alien empire in no uncertain terms. This track smoothly transitions from one mood to another, and just when you think the song is ending, it surges back to life with even more urgency and drive. Filled with musical metaphor and dramatic imagery, it leads us to the sweeping and poignant approach of the title track, “Visitors”.
Rich and emotional, “Roswell Crash Retrieval” is driven by resonant basslines and synths that are both brutal and infectious. At the forefront, Andrew Hetherington’s powerful melodies always stake their claim.
“Making Contact” feels like a spiritual ascent into the unknown, which grows more and more insistent. The intricate basslines and synth motifs once again dominate with mind-blowing precision and efficacy. “Kenneth Arnold” pays tribute to the man accredited with sighting the first Flying Saucer on June 24, 1947.
“I Know What I Saw” adds further depth, richness, and clarity to the overall story arch, as Andrew loads the beat and rolls out the might of the rhythm. The album closer, “Out Of The Blue”, shows no sign of dropping the momentum, as chugging synths ride against the throbbing beat. Your imagination is key, and Andrew takes full advantage of that in all the right ways, brings his absolute A+ game. With any Andrew Hetherington release, you always get ingenuity on all levels.
The album, “Visitors”, speaks volumes about Andrew Hetherington’s brilliance for molding synthwave sounds, producing meaningful electronic art, and his mastery of crafting concept albums. This is easily his most ingenuitive record to date. Moreover, it is Andrew Hetherington’s meticulous production and composition, which incarnates his impressive style of musical storytelling.