Indians: Somewhere Else
Bands with imagination make music that seems sprawling and bigger than human possibility. Indians has that promise of something bigger. With sparse arrangements that grow from the whispered piano to the electric grandiose distortion that could fill a room with its presence. There is a need to classify this as something else, but Somewhere Else falls just a bit short of that. Each song on the album is less of a crossover and more of independent than the rest. “Bird” is a minimalistic man-behind-the-piano scrawl about birds. (The lyrics leave the impression that they are this daft, as if the composer was writing down just what happened outside his window.)
At worst, Indians sounds like Fleet Foxes, (which can mean different things to different people as Fleet Foxes received critical acclaim for their indie folk release, but can be considered a little lacking in presence). Whereas songs like “I Am Haunted” are stripped down to the acoustic guitar and the ghost-like vocals of the lead singer, paving through a western folk rendition of love balladry.
The album cycles between moods. There is the folk hinted to behind all the keys, then the electronica that wants to come out and provide a decent dance beat, but gets broken down and beat back into a support for the (sometimes) pathetic wailing of the lead singer.
Promise fills the album, a promise that music is being taken to another level. There are components on this album that need to be flushed out to make it feel well-rounded, barring that it starts to slip into an album that will surprise, but not last.