I’ve just been a casual listener of From Indian Lakes. My iTunes would be shuffling through, my ears pricking up slightly when they would come on, and I’d listen to a track or two more before moving onto something else. All that changed when I put their newest album, Absent Sounds, on while I was listening to new releases to review. I listened to the entire album completely through before putting it on repeat for the rest of my day and I’ve listened to it at least once a day since.
The beautiful piano that starts “Come In This Light” were a great way to draw me in instantly and then suddenly they seemed to fall into a strange loop, almost like a record skipping. Clearly this wasn’t going to be a typical indie rock experience. I was swept away as soon as Joey Vannucchi’s flowing falsetto kicked in for the first verse. I was at work and regretted not having my good headphones from home to truly appreciate the musical textures that had been laid out before me but there was no way I could wait to listen to the rest of the album.
It was strange, while a number of the tracks on Absent Sounds are a full force explosion of sound, From Indian Lakes still manages to create a beautiful and, for me anyways, calming album. “Label this Love” starts out with hammering drums and a driving twitchy guitars before driving into full force for the chorus. Perhaps it’s just Vannuchhi’s vocals which flow so sweetly throughout each track that I can’t help but be soothed.
I really love the way each track seems to build up as it progresses. “Sleeping Limbs” stacks musical layers throughout, stepping up to a wonderfully full sound after the first verse, breaking for the next, and then building again until crashing into the chorus. This was another track that I yearned to have my own headphones for so that I could hear every little part of the track. From Indian Lakes craft a marvelously complex sound without it becoming overworked.
Absent Sounds starts with a burst and then relaxes a bit through the middle tracks. “Am I Alive” begins with simple acoustic guitars and a clapping beat before Vannucchi’s unique vocals chime in, again stacking more and more layers as the track goes. “Am I alive?” Vannucchi’s ethereal falsetto echoes over pulsing drums throughout the chorus. It’s possibly the most beautiful existential crisis I’ve ever heard.
“Ghost” is probably the catchiest track on the album, it’s been stuck in my head basically since I first listened to it, but it’s a great song so I’m okay with that. Spacey guitars and jingling bells fade in before the vocals and drums are added. “And if you’ll never make another sound / How can I hope to ever find you now? / And if I’m gone before I hit the ground / How can I hope to be where you are?” Vannucchi asks before launching into the chorus. If you’re going to start listening to From Indian Lakes (and you definitely should), you should start with “Ghost”.
There were quite a few times during the quietest moments of Absent Sounds that I was reminded of Sleeping At Last. The best example is probably “Runner”, which is musically the simplest track on the album. But even a simple track for From Indian Lakes is moderately complex. Acoustic guitars carry the track along but there’s a wonderful distorted guitar solo and some interesting percussion throughout the song. Everything comes together perfectly and “Runner” is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.
I seem to become more and more fascinated with Absent Sounds the more I listen to it. Perhaps it’s the masterful layering of musical textures or simply that it just calms me so well during a week where I could definitely use the extra help. Honestly, it doesn’t matter, all that matters is that it’s going to stay on repeat for the foreseeable future.