Vandaveer - Grace and Speed

There is a new face on the music scene, Vandaveer aka singer, songwriter and musician Mark Charles Heidinger.

'Grace And Speed' is the debut record from Vandaveer and is full of pop rock numbers. The majority may be slow and acoustic such as 'Out Past The Moat', 'Crooked Mast' and 'Different Cities', but there are a few louder ones like 'Roman Candle'; this track in particular is the most upbeat number on the album. It has an electric guitar and a beat than runs through the track keeping you on your toes and intrigued. Other numbers on the album consist of '2nd Beat' with its clarinet and ukulele, which stands out among other tracks.

The vocal ability of the Heidinger is remarkable. Above all, its ability to remain interesting, entertaining and attractive is consistent. At times, particularly on 'However Many Takes It Takes', the vocals have an edgy country/folksy style to them which when supported with the acoustic guitar fit together like two peas in a pod. On the title track, the vocals become dominant over the music creating something of a unique balance. Harmonies through the album are distinctive due to each initiating from a different place. When listening to 'Marianne, You've Done It Now' with headphones, you will get a sense of someone singing in each ear, which gave me a warming sensation in my tummy.

This album creates a varied and rather irregular atmosphere. Some tracks such as 'The Streets Is Full Of Creeps' are made to feel quite dark with the use of guitar pings being repetitive under everything else, while other like 'Marianne, You've Done It Now' give a more mysterious feel. This could be in part to the music, or the lyrics supporting it. "Marianne who cut you down to size? Who slashed your throat, plucked out your pretty eyes? Who drew your blood straight from your heart" are dark and make me feel uneasy about who the singer is talking about...which I see as a good thing.

This is an enjoyable album if you are looking to relax and veg out for an evening. Enjoyable lyrics, catchy numbers and nearly each tune will have its grasp over you. A little more variety in sound would have gone a long way, but for a first attempt, this is a great record.