The brilliant Andy Bell of Ride/Hurricane #1/Oasis/Beady Eye fame has finally dropped his debut solo record titled The View From Halfway Down. Technically speaking, Bell slipped a solo record (Dissident) into the world in 2019 under the moniker of GLOK. That album was bursting with experimental sonic landscapes of yesteryear that could easily have been the soundtrack to any season of “Stranger Things” on Netflix. Bell doesn’t drift too far from the sonic template found on Dissident with his first proper album under his own name. The View From Halfway Down (named after a BoJack Horseman episode) is loaded with the best musical nods ranging from CAN, Neu!, The Stone Roses and even Ride. Across eight songs, Andy is asking us not to focus on the lyrics or words but the sounds coming out of the speaker. That is the real currency found on The View From Halfway Down. Shout out to former band mate Gem Archer who helped to engineer, record and produce The View From Halfway Down. Move over Noel and Liam, Andy is also packing a powerful punch solo punch!
Love Comes In Waves – The psychedelic and jangly lead single that immediately recalls the best moments of early 90s Ride. The most direct and commercial track found on the album. Almost impossible not to tap your foot along to this banger.
Indica – As soon as this began to play thoughts of The Stone Roses meets Boards of Canada crept into my mind. This is one of Andy’s inversion tunes (hence the Stone Roses tip of the cap) which I am assuming is linked to album finale “Heat Haze On Weyland Road”.
Ghost Tones – This little finger picking ditty sounds like a lost track from The Beatles’ White Album sessions from 1968.
Skywalker – Beginning with a motorik backbeat and featuring groovy baselines, this track is clearly a homage to a band like Neu!. I have to admit, that awesome bass line reminds me of “It’s A Beautiful World” by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. An album highlight for sure and great song title.
Aubrey Drylands Gladwell – The early Tame Impala sound is all over this instrumental. I wish that band made more music like this. Fortunately for us, Andy can always give us the goods on that front.
Cherry Cola – First thoughts were Boards of Canada meets Beta Band with a splash of Beck. A sonic enjoyment from start to finish on this lovely tune. Definitely calls for the headphone treatment. One of the best songs Andy has ever crafted in my opinion.
I Was Alone – A psychedelic slow burner. In my mind I imagine this being chanted on the foothills of the Himalayas.
Heat Wave On Weyland Road – A grand kaleidoscope of cool electronic sounds and textures. I believe this is the second part of the inversion track “Indica” from earlier on the album but I’ll wait to see if Andy ever confirms that in promotional interviews.