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India McKellarIndia McKellar
Album: Sable (EP)
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 4

Hailing originally from Nottinghamshire, India's now based in Sheffield with the inspirational landscapes of the Peak District close at hand, having studied poetry at the city's Hallam University and been a member of Sheffield poetry collective White Peak Dark Peak. India's life-long devotion to music first bore fruit in classical and prog piano playing, following which she got hooked by Irish music and took up the harp; she then spent almost a decade deep in the Irish countryside supporting herself through busking, teaching and performing. Only recently did India discover the guitar, and this inspired her to write songs: the current EP, Sable, is the result - a coordinated suite of four intimate songs that explore themes of loss and nostalgia, love and regret to a tender, flowing, haunting backdrop where her own guitar weaves deftly in and out of the delicate textures supported by and embracing cello (Liz Hanks), piano (Piero Tucci) and extra guitar (producer Martin Gregory Smith). But having said that, the set's even musical ambience and consistency of mood, and the songs' predominantly contemplative aura, might be viewed as its Achilles heel.

To some extent, India's gentleness of expression belies her lyrical assurance, thus it's all too easy for her music to wash past your ears in profile, so a closer listen is recommended for the best result.

David Kidman