Review

Afro-pop singer-songwriter Andy Hoyle drops his debut album, Living In My Head, after 32 years of work

Cape Town-based singer-songwriter Andy Hoyle has been writing songs laced with elements of afro-pop and folk-rock since the early eighties. Now, after 32 years Hoyle releases Living In My Head to the world – his 14-track, debut body of work.

Heavily influenced by the late Johnny Clegg throughout his musical career, Hoyle released the single  “How Do You Say Goodbye?” in October last year to process the passing of the local legend. Featuring Johnny’s long-time drummer Barry van Zyl, Shaun Johannes on bass and David “Qadasi” Jenkins, a talented Maskandi musician from KZN, an isiZulu bridge contributed to the lyrical eulogy.

Living In My Head depicts a time-lapse portrait inspired by Hoyle’s life experiences – it’s something like that film Boyhood with a little more classic pop. While a little generic in style and slightly dated in sound, I appreciate Hoyle’s time capsule album for its simplicity, nostalgia, and meaningfulness. 

Silver tongue Hoyle is firmly of the belief that the test of a good song is whether it can deliver its message with just a single instrument as accompaniment tied together with a simple melody and meaning. Again perhaps a little obsolete at times, it is his life-long magnum opus of an album, and it pays enormous tribute to all he’s done.