Their music somehow both travels in time and feels brand new, and the result ought to be dizzying but is instead a grounded groove.
It’s music for today that nevertheless pays proper homage to its roots–– and yeah, it sounds damn smooth. The American soul group Durand Jones and the Indications, formed by college friends in Bloomington, Indiana, released their first album in 2016, which they recorded for a grand sum of $452.11 (including the beer).
The group is headed by vocalists Jones and Aaron Frazer, who also plays the drums, and is accompanied by Blake Rhein on the guitar, bassist Kyle Houpt, and keyboardist Steve Okonski. The five-piece has a tight sound, reminiscent of 70s soul with its funky basslines and vocals.
Part of what makes their music so exciting is that they harness this familiar retro sound to defy our expectations. The lyrics induce a kind of musical nostalgia, and yet, we must really tune in to hear what’s being sung. The album’s first track, “Morning in America” for example, addresses issues such as the water crisis in Flint, Michigan and the nationwide opioid epidemic – and yet the listener might almost be too busy tapping their toes to pay attention.
They’ve flipped the way we romanticize Americana and the nation’s history on its head, and this modern take is hopeful and fresh. A lot of their inspiration comes from (of course) musicians like Al Green and Marvin Gaye, but as Rhein has noted, their sound is also influenced by hip-hop, gospel and folk music – a blend that is uniquely American.
(Here’s a link to their awesome Spotify playlist, “Indications’ Inspirations”.)
To celebrate their ambitious sophomore album, American Love Call, which was released in March of this year with a considerably larger production budget, the band has been touring internationally, and we are lucky to have them return to Berlin.
Haven’t scored your tickets to see this soulful group at Lido Berlin this Friday? We are giving away two, so hurry and write to win(at)indieberlin.de for your chance to claim them.