Album Review: From Indian Lakes- “Absent Sounds”


It must have seemed like quite a daunting task to create a worthy follow up to their stunning 2012 album Able Bodies, but From Indian Lakes have managed to channel that album’s majestic beauty and nuanced artistry into an equally enthralling new body of work, while also pushing their creative boundaries to move their songwriting into exciting new realms of melodic and lyrical possibilities.

Absent Sounds finds the band expanding even further upon the masterful songwriting and musicianship that made Able Bodies such an impactful, artfully constructed album. The ten tracks on this new LP seamlessly weave together a wide range of dynamics, melodies and moods, creating a compelling listening experience in which new details and treasures are unearthed each time. The title seems somewhat misleading, as nothing at all appears to be “absent” from this collection of songs. Each sound, each lyric, each tiny, seemingly inconsequential detail is impeccably placed and well timed so that nothing feels lacking or lost.

The album moves along with a natural ebb and flow that gives it an almost prefect sense of balance, timing, and structure. Quieter songs transition quite gracefully into ones marked by more layered melodies and heavier sounds so that nothing at all feels choppy or out of sync. The gently hypnotic pulsations and sweetly pining vocals of the opening track, “Come In This Light,” give way to the darker marching beats and more complex structures of “Label This Love” and “Breathe, Desperately” in a way that feels fluid and logical. Amid the emotional, lyrical, and melodic intensities that make the album flourish, the band comes up for air in the form of some more simple melodies and quiet moments with songs like the poignant, acoustic based “Runner,” and the lush, sparkling pop sensibilities of “Am I Alive” and “Awful Things.” It’s moments like these that keep the album afloat and prevent it from drowning too deeply in its own darkness and dramatic intensity.

While it’s especially challenging to nominate the best tracks from such a strong, cohesive body of work, two standout singles, “Ghost” and “Sleeping Limbs” are arguably the pinnacles of the album. The former is a powerfully emotive confessional strengthened by the interplay between soaring, dramatic choruses and more gentle, subdued verses, artfully strung together with touches of jingle bells and keyboards. In some ways it recalls early-mid ‘00s Death Cab For Cutie. The latter begins as a chill, reflective, gently flowing track that soon becomes beautifully draped in layers of shimmering guitars tempered with just the right amount of dissonance and lyrical darkness. Both tracks accent elegantly decorated, gently driving melodies with majestically swelling crescendos that showcase lead singer Joey Vannucchi’s unparalleled vocal prowess.

From Indian Lakes are a shining example of a band who continue to refine their craft and develop their style in the most delightful of ways. I could list so many other reasons as to why Absent Sounds is one of the best albums of 2014, but you should probably just sit down, listen to it from start to finish, and let its treasure trove of sounds and surprises enfold you.

From Indian Lakes- Runner

For the fourth single off their upcoming album Absent Sounds, From Indian Lakes have decided to show us their softer, more sparse, acoustic side. This new track, “Runner” recalls the best moments on the band’s 2011 Acoustic EP, sounding a bit like “The Bells,” but slightly more uptempo and sonically adventurous. While the band’s musical style is so malleable and fluid, with Joey Vannucchi’s voice adapting beautifully to just about any instrumental backdrop, their forays into more subtle acoustic territory find these guys at their most sublime. With “Runner,” we are treated not only to the sweeter, more gentle side of Vannucchi’s voice, but also to a chill, meandering electric guitar solo that brings the song to a wonderfully hypnotic finale.

Stream the song below and order Absent sounds here before its 10/7 release date.

From Indian Lakes- “Breathe, Desperately”

Some songs are so beautifully and intricately constructed that it becomes especially difficult to try to capture their essence and power in words. Such is the case with many songs by From Indian Lakes, who are admittedly one of my favorite bands to emerge from this current decade. Their latest song, “Breathe, Desperately,” the third single from their upcoming album Absent Sounds, is a stunning hybrid of sounds and emotions, and it moves along with an almost majestic turbulence. The bursts and rushes of rhythm that accent the song with a heightened sense of urgency and drama are the perfect vehicle to carry Joey Vanucchi’s triumphantly emotive vocals through this mesmerizing sonic landscape.

So without further ado, listen, repeat, and then pre-order Absent Sounds here. The album comes out 10/7 and a fall tour to support Relient K will follow soon after.

From Indian Lakes- “Ghost”


From Indian Lakes continue to craft intelligently written, intricately designed songs that always seem to leave me stunned and entranced. They grew quite a bit as musicians between their 2009 debut LP, “The Man With Wooden Legs” and their 2012 follow up, “Able Bodies,” and the singles they’ve released so far from their upcoming LP, “Absent Sounds” are evidence of their continued growth and evolution.

This latest single, “Ghost,” is a carefully constructed, powerfully emotive confessional that makes effective use of the interplay between soaring, dramatic choruses and more quiet, subdued verses that showcase Joey Vannucchi’s impressive vocal range. The artful addition of keyboards and jingle bells to this guitar and percussion-driven song enhance its beauty and draw the listener further in to the complexities and treasures contained within.

Stream “Ghost” here, via A.V. Club, and pre-order “Absent Sounds” here.

From Indian Lakes- “Sleeping Limbs”

I have a feeling that From Indian Lakes will make quite a name for themselves with their upcoming album, Absent Sounds (out 10/7 on Triple Crown Records). Their sound has drawn comparisons to bands like The Appleseed Cast, Circa Survive, and Radiohead, and their intricately and tightly crafted songs, highlighted by lead singer Joey Vannucchi’s impressively malleable, emotive vocals, make them a band to watch closely as 2014 progresses.

“Sleeping Limbs,” The first single from Absent Sounds, has a slightly more lush, polished sound than most of the material on 2012’s Able Bodies. The rhythm section is steady and simple, providing a somewhat chill intro to a song that becomes draped in layers of shimmering guitars tempered with just the right amount of dissonance and lyrical darkness. Vannucchi’s signature vocals are beautifully evocative and range slightly in emotion and intensity throughout the song, narrating the story with a powerfully haunting perspective. This is songwriting and musicianship at its finest and a glimpse into the impactful level of artistry that we’re sure to find in Absent Sounds.

Stream “Sleeping Limbs” below, and catch From Indian Lakes on tour with The Dear Hunter and RX Bandits, which starts 7/16.

From Indian Lakes “Able Bodies Remixes”

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After seeing From Indian Lakes on their “Able Bodies” tour last night, I came across this remix EP, and it’s a total delight. The electro/dubsteppy sound works so well with Joey Vannucchi’s dynamic, emotive vocals. It’s a whole new way of experiencing this band’s awesome music. I hope they do more electronic based work in the future; it would be a great direction for them to move toward.

Check out the remixes here and support this amazing band. They are now headed toward NJ, NY, and the midwest on their headlining tour, and their show was honestly one of the best I’ve seen in recent months.