Absent Sounds is the third album of indie alternative band From Indian Lakes, but the first album to be released under a recording contract. The band’s first two albums, The Man with Wooden Legs and Able Bodies, were self-released and got the band the attention they needed from Triple Crown Records. From Indian Lakes’ junior album is a collection of ambient vocals and lyrics that seemingly were created from a place of deep thought.
“Come in the Light” seems to take the album title seriously. At first, all that I heard was a faint sound of nature beneath an echoed synth. As the sound began to pan, the volume increased and after fifty-two patient seconds, the vocals began. Once the percussion and keys started to play, they conflicted with each other in the most intriguing way. Whether by accident or on purpose, the band executed this composition well.
A head-nodding drum introduction captured my ears as “Label This Love” began. It’s followed by panning vocals and distant electronic background voices. The music blares over the vocals throughout the song except for when the singer is trying to make a point with his lyrics. It occurs three times in the song, proving that it is meant to be all about the music.
“Breathe, Desperately” on the other hand, is the first song on the album to be lyric-driven. Though, that aspect begins after the guitar solo which introduces the songs superior melody. The lead singer states, “I was once a quiet boy /Cleaning out my wounds/But I never could keep my mouth shut when I needed to/I could try to pry it loose”. The guitars sort of scratch in the background before it continues to crescendo into full volume, and reminds me of the beautiful melody that caught my attention in the first place.
The third track finished off with an exciting instrumental display that lead into “Sleeping Limbs“. The lyrics were not as important in this song, as the band chose to bury them behind the music again, perhaps to add a relationship between the confusion the lyrics spoke of and the music. He sings “What’s the point to this/There’s no point to this”. Suddenly, I began to find depth in the album that at first just played like a strong display of instrumental talent.
The deep meaning behind the singer’s lyrics continued as vocals took the lead in “Am I Alive“, a question the background vocals seem to ask the lead as the song goes on. Uniquely the echoing falsetto support vocals are extended after the second verse, which sent me into a much-needed musical trance. The song ended without bringing me out of it.
A decent, detached melody played as the soft volume got increasingly louder. I paused for a moment to take notice that this song’s title was “Ghost” and wondered if that was the answer to the question in the previous song. After I pressed play, I never got my answer. “Now that I’m a ghost of what I once was,” he goes on to sing in a lovely acapella as the song came to an end.
“Awful Things” haunted me as I listened. The song is introduced with choral vocals that chant until the lead finally begins to sing of, well, being haunted. How appropriate! The chanting is beautiful in a spooky way, and truly helped me to see into the lyrics. The song ended with a scared, crying voice that said, “I still hear your voice in my head, and it’s saying awful things,” sending shivers up my spine, but in a good way.
I honestly thought that would’ve been a good way to end the album, but the drums and guitar lead my ears to “Runner“. Runner was one of the only tracks on the album that doesn’t focus on one aspect of the music. In this beautiful song vocals, music, and lyrics all played their respective roles very well.
“Search For More” is a mid-tempo song that is a bit mediocre and should have been left out, in my opinion. Nonetheless, the lyrics do contribute to the albums theme. “We don’t feel at all/With our hands out/We beg for more/You clearly died when I heard the call/You black out/ I search for more.”
With a blaring upbeat guitar intro, “Fog” is just the pick me up I needed after the previous track. With the clearest vocals in the album, the lyrics define it, ending the record with “You don’t have to be anyone”. Collectively, I enjoyed this body of work. It was unique, considering each song had a limited number of lyrics compared to most. The melodies found throughout were by far the best part of the disc, and it left me with the final thought that From Indian Lakes is anything but absent of sound.