At a recent From Indian Lakes show at the Fillmore in San Francisco I overheard two fans discussing the band:
“So, what’s your favorite song?”
“You know, when I go on long drives I just turn on one of their albums and get lost in it. It’s an experience.”
His answer revealed much about the spirit of From Indian Lake’s music and the loyal following that the group has garnered. At first, From Indian Lakes might seem like just another youthful band producing indie rock to satisfy the needs of a younger demographic. But when heard firsthand, From Indian Lakes reveals itself to be a far more unique group. Somewhere in between Joey Vannucchi’s melodic vocals, Tohm Ifergan’s upbeat indie percussion, and Justin Stanphill’s expansive guitar lines emerge the distinctive qualities of From Indian Lakes. The group can effortlessly transition from a melancholic vibe to impassioned exuberance while maintaining its own unique sound. Rather than writing “slow songs” and “happy songs,” From Indian Lakes rises above simplistic rock music and writes from the heart, expressing a diversity of emotions within a single song.
None of this is to say that From Indian Lakes’ music is repetitive or uniform. The live performance of the innocently enthusiastic “We Are Sick” exhibited a stark contrast to the darker feel of “Stay Outside,” while “Breaking My Bones” conveyed an altogether different quality with its ambient introduction and angry chorus. However, every song expressed something earnest and authentic, a yearning that many identified with. Perhaps From Indian Lakes does not have a larger following because of the complexity of its work – each song contains a wealth of subtly expressed emotions. Fans of indie and alternative rock would do well to give this band a longer listen. After all, it’s an experience.
Words by Stanislaw Banach
Photos by Tehillah De Castro