From Indian Lakes – “Absent Sounds” Review

Posted: by Dylan

Building on a strong touring cycle including opening slots for RX Bandit’s reunion tour and Relient K’s ongoing Mmhmm 10-year-anniversary tour, fans of From Indian Lakes had a lot to expect from this year’s Absent Sounds. The unique indie-alt sounds of 2012’s Able Bodies established a strong and varied fan base, and the new album is sure to appease the masses, not to mention garner more attention for the California band.

Absent Sounds, released on 10/07, is the band’s third full length, but the first album to be released through a label, in this case Triple Crown Records. The collection notes a distinct, yet appropriate, departure from the tone of earlier releases. Whereas frontman Joey Vannucchi’s vocals were typically forcefully driven and sometimes bordered on screams, new songs like Sleeping Limbs highlight the range of dynamics he is capable of producing with their increased use of falsetto. This isn’t to say that the album lacks intensity, and, if anything, there is much more emotional intensity; it has simply changed context.

The songs frequently features keys, synth tracks, and digital drums, which all work to establish an eerie ambience and compliment the slowed-down, spatial quality that seems to draw on the title of the album. It suits the band well, especially considering lyrical themes of emotional loss and questions of identity that run throughout each track. Songs like Searching for More play with tempo and time signature in ways that fans will be familiar with and new listeners will quickly be able to appreciate. The delicate balance between the use of acoustic and electric instrumentation also develops a sort of interior contrast that keeps the audience on edge and the album from ever growing stagnant, despite its masterful cohesion of tone.

If one song were to stand as the crux of the release, it would certainly be Breathe, Desperately, a track that echoes the brilliance of Parachutes era Coldplay in all the right ways. From the subtle guitar leads that compliment the unavoidably-catchy vocal melody, to the stunning structural arrangement that ebbs and flows with near perfect balance, the song is sure to be a hit in the band’s live performances. All in all, Absent Sounds is an album destined to bring From Indian Lakes into the forefront of the indie scene in the near future. It’s certainly more accessible to casual listeners and there’s nothing to alienate early fans. If this is only the beginning of the band’s label career, I’m already biting my nails in anticipation of their next release.

– Dylan