The music Scott Roberts is creating as his alter ego Indigo Hush is quite different from the indie-rock escapades that he accomplished with his previous band, The Nature.
Roberts’ music, like on his fun single “Creature Spell,” is hypnotic, catchy and — dare I say — danceable. It’s a perfect combination of his indie-rock sensibilities and a connection, awareness and integration of contemporary pop music.
“My favorite band is Pink Floyd with Radiohead a close second,” Roberts said, “but I’ve always just had a wide spectrum.”
The 33-year-old has been quite busy as of late. He’s been putting out singles with a satisfying consistency, around one a month since February of 2020. His latest single, “Reverb and Candy,” was released on Friday and continues Roberts’, and in turn Indigo Hush’s, artistic evolution.
His music is dreamy, fresh, effervescent. It’s right at the intersection where The Postal Service, Duran Duran and The Weeknd would hang out playing Atari video games and watch “Blade Runner” in between bouts of Dungeon & Dragons and sips of sake.
Indigo Hush has already released six singles this year (plus seven singles and one EP, “Creature Spell,” in 2020) and each, available on all major streaming platforms, are worth a listen. “The Watcher,” in particular, exemplifies the haunting aesthetic that underlines Indigo Hush’s songs. It’s a lovely, futuristic melancholy tune that could make a robot cry.
More so than any other local musician, save for the gothic hip-hop of NineFingers, Indigo Hush is the one whose music best evokes hard rain in a lonely city, lit in pastel neon where the skyscrapers block out the sky.
Where some acts use pop music as a springboard or as something to parody, Roberts fully embraces it (even exploring trap rhythms on the “I want you now” tune “Apostrophe”). Each of the songs average a little under three minutes, and I can say from experience that any of them could be put on repeat and not get tiresome. Their brevity welcomes re-listens.
“From a music standpoint, (that brevity) is cool,” Roberts said, “but also, I have in the back of my head, the state of the music industry and how I’m the epitome of a struggling artist. I want people to stream my music and listen to them again right after. I want them to put it on a playlist and support me.”
The most impressive parts are the different synth sounds Roberts achieves. They sparkle through their rich, dark tones. His next release, “Walking Slow,” is a bouncy, more guitar-driven tune about disillusionment and disappointment that clocks in at just over two-and-a-half minutes. True to form, it’s scheduled to drop later this month on May 28.
A heads-up to those with more delicate sensibilities: Some of these songs include explicit language.
Another loss to the local music community
At the time of writing this article, I became aware of the passing of Paul “Andy Noise” Anderson, who died in his sleep early Tuesday morning. He had just turned 58 and left behind his wife, Bianca, and three adult sons.
It was a shock for me, especially given that he had posted on his Facebook profile only 12 hours before news of his death broke.
Like many people, I got to know Paul as the owner of his record store Andy Noise in the late 1980s/early 1990s. I moved to Bakersfield in 1988 and his downtown 19th Street shop, with its musty vibe and those omnipresent massive Depeche Mode and Dead or Alive posters hanging from the ceiling, were my introduction to the Bakersfield music scene.
My musical tastes were helped along by the stern curmudgeon that seemed so aloof but actually warmed up to me as I frequented his shop. Living in Lamont at the time, it was an odyssey to make it to the city, but that only increased its mystique. The very unique air that Bakersfield had at that time, situated somewhere between the height of the Bakersfield Sound and the worldwide success of Korn, was electric in its vitality, power and creativity.
He shocked me by remembering the kinds of music I liked and would recommend some different groups I wasn’t aware of at the time. “I remember you like Cheap Trick and The Pixies,” he said to me one time in the early 1990s. “I think you’d dig this band called Nirvana.”
He was always relaxed. Chill. Feet up at almost all times, overlooking his humble empire of used vinyl and cassettes. That little shop changed my world and the world around me got bigger for it. I cannot underestimate the effect Andy Noise had on the music scene at and from that time.
While working on this latest column, I realize that I’ve written a lot lately about the passing of those in and connected to our local music community.
I’ve inherited a somber and wistful awareness of the responsibility in remembering to search for joy fiercely and with complete abandon and to share it with as many people as possible. In remembering our loved ones with the proper gravity their lives deserved.
I recently wrote about the passing of John Kintzi who was known as “Walking Man.” Paul Anderson had a great passion for running. He was a running coach for many years. Like the walking man, this runner’s path just expanded and illuminated, shone with the good will — and great music — he fostered here.
My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.