I love Ian Axel‘s style of lyrically smart indie piano-pop. So do Ingrid Michaelson, Jenny Owen Youngs, and several other magnificent performers in the burgeoning New York indie scene.
Produced by frequent Michaelson collaborator Dan Romer (with one track by Dave Matthews Band producer John Alagia), Ian Axel’s debut album first caught my attention when the lead single, “This Is The New Year”, popped up on iTunes a couple years ago as a discovery download. After some issues with iTunes, the full album was finally released on the popular music store over a year later, but not after Axel received a fair amount of pop culture airplay–his songs were featured on The Amazing Race, The Real World and even served as the theme song for MTV’s I Used To Be Fat.
Now that I’ve had the ability to listen to the whole album, I appreciate a lot of the work on it. Axel is obviously young as a musician and is definitely working out the kinks, but you get the feeling that there’s something really good there. He has a knock for good arrangement, catchy piano hooks and smart, emotional lyricism that makes him seem wiser than his 27 years appear.
Download it for free here, you have nothing to lose: