On his latest EP release, Anand Manivannan has gone on record to say, “Scars & Wounds is about those people in life you never outgrow, but carry with you as a mark on your soul, cursed with the scars that echo through your reveries but endowed with the memory of being touched by an angel.”
With such a beautiful intended message, one would not necessarily be remiss to believe that the man behind Andy TheCrocodile might have his work cut out for him. Especially as a wholly independent artist, questions of production clarity come to mind beside the more typical scales of judgment coming from songwriting perspective alone. For Manivannan, though, it is clear from his EP’s opening moments that he is a musical savant both from a heartful and technical scale. Getting it out of the way forthrightly, the Indian singer-songwriter is a grand independent producer
— the mix present here is just as present and crystalline as any major budget could have otherwise ascertained.
So, what it really comes down to is the songwriting. When an indie artist comes to the forefront claiming to draw influence from as many varying sources as Andy The Crocodile, eyebrows tend to be raised in critics’ offices. Between 40s jazz, 70s rock, and indie folk, after all, this is a large field for Manivannan to pull from in a meaningful, cohesive fashion. Albeit, he does just that, and he does so effortlessly, producing an individualistic amalgam of sounds that mesh as smoothly as anything.
Scars & Wounds ultimately is a collection of songs that wouldn’t feel out of place on Once or Across the Universe. Heartwarmingly sweet in its melodic reverie, Andy The Crocodile skates gracefully between longing jazz melodies, rock rhythm, and genuine folk storytelling to tell a story that feels as deeply personal and touching to anyone willing to let it take a dive into their hearts. Full of subtle, trained vocal and instrumental tricks to elevate his music that much further, Andy The Crocodile feels like India’s answer to Jason Mraz—jazzy, effortless, and capable of taking an express train straight to listeners’ hearts.
Words by: Jonathan Frahm (@jfrahm_)