Perhaps more interesting than the music on From Indian Lakes’ ‘Everything Feels Better Now’ is its recording process. For album number four, multi-instrumentalist Joey Vannucchi retreated to his countryside home of Yosemite National Park, and recorded using only analogue instruments and tape machines.
While the use of archaic technology itself is not something that should be praised, it’s a marvel what Vannucchi has managed to achieve without the aid of modern technology. ‘EFBN’ is massive and multi-layered, despite its lo-fi recording process.
Musically, this album abandons any trace of emo that coloured 2014’s ‘Absent Sounds’ for a straight-up dream-pop approach. There are also some subtle folk-rock tendencies within ‘EFBN – most prominent on tracks like ‘Hello’ – with Vannucchi sounding at times like a more ethereal Keaton Henson, especially in his vocal delivery.
Although the album is tonally consistent, there are several forays into different styles. ‘The Monster’, for example, has a typical pop song structure, which makes it a great choice as the lead single due to its anticipatory pre-chorus immediate earworm hook.
Vannucchi uses other rock tropes, like the dueling guitars on ‘Blank Tapes’, to his advantage, keeping them from sounding boring by fusing them with the dreamy, psychedelic elements of From Indian Lakes’ sound.
Layered post-rock sound textures are present on deeper cuts like ‘Lose Myself’ and ‘Come Back’, which is particularly impressive considering the way the album was recorded. What really pushes the analogue recording to its limit, though, is closer ‘Rid of It’, which relies heavily on synthesizers and still manages to sound big, spacey and modern.
‘Everything Feels Better Now’ is a real achievement for From Indian Lakes, with Vannucchi developing his established sound to its peak and displaying remarkable musicianship.
‘Everything Feels Better Now’ by From Indian Lakes is released on October 14th on Triple Crown Records.
Words by Alan Cunningham (@funeral_polis)