In the post-genre world in which we find ourselves, you could argue that putting labels on bands, trying to logistically box their sonic output with neat tags, and expecting them to stay within certain musical demarcations is a somewhat pointless exercise. You could also argue that has always been the case, and genres are just inventions that journalists came up with, people like me, just to make our lives easier. Guilty as charged. Sorry. But I would say that if you are one of those people who likes to be taken by the hand and you are perhaps unsure as to what a label such as indie-pop actually means and what such a designated song might sound like, give “Better,” the debut single from Iona Sky, a spin or two.
If indie music has a confident swagger and a relaxed, slightly outsider attitude and pop music is all about infectious melodies and engaging grooves, then this is about as Indie-pop as you get—the perfect synergy between authenticity and popularity, of muscle and melody, grace and groove.
There is a fantastic ebb and flow within the song, running from rhythmically driven verses and chiming, almost anthemic choruses, the sound of a band that knows how to make an impact through the music but also knows that less is indeed more. Throw in a creatively astute middle-eight change of pace, some gorgeous spiralling guitar riffs and Anna-Sophia Henry’s poised pop-rock voice, one able to soothe and soar in equal measures, and you have perhaps the perfect indie-pop song. Or at least one that will do until the perfect indie-pop song comes along.
But I think we might be waiting a while to top this.