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Concert preview: From Indian Lakes looks to move past standard indie tropes

Published February 28, 2017 3:07 pm

Concert preview • Frontman/songwriter Joey Vannucchi says material from the band's latest album accomplished his desire to push himself as a musician.
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It's raining in New York City when From Indian Lakes singer/songwriter Joey Vannucchi answers his phone. The disjointed connection makes it sound as if he said "dreaming" rather than "raining" — a concept that makes Vannucchi chuckle.

At the time of his phone interview with The Salt Lake Tribune, Vannucchi is enjoying time off before heading on a tour that sees From Indian Lakes opening for Bad Suns. The tour kicks off at The Complex in Salt Lake City on Tuesday.

"When I'm not writing or touring, I luckily lay around dreaming just to make sure I don't go too far outside any stereotypes about artists," Vannucchi said.

His sarcasm makes for a good laugh, but the image doesn't seem too far-fetched.

Raised in Indian Lakes, Calif., near Yosemite National Park, Vannucchi spent his childhood years learning musical instruments. His bio is laden with fuel for the making of good indie music: A soulful boy grows up on 40 acres of land with no electricity and little in the way of modern luxuries. He dreams, he writes, he makes music.

The indie-rock musician admits that in the past, his music has carried existential overtones, inspiring listeners to dive into the sadness that his lyrics evoke. Vannucchi knows that his fans enjoy the mood of his music, but for his fourth and most recent album, "Everything's Better Now," he chose to venture off the beaten path.

"People really like some of the really sad songs that I have written," he said. "I think as you write more and more, you have a choice whether to pander to the audience that you have gathered or push yourself. Pushing myself on this record was writing lyrics that were poetic and not so much writing about topics that I know can be successful."

In writing for "Everything's Better Now," Vannucchi forced himself to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. The result is an album that he describes as being his realest — and most romantic — yet.

"This process led to making a really raw and real record," he said. "The vocals are untuned, and making the record the way it was made, made it very authentic."

Vannucchi recorded the album on analog equipment, creating reverb, compressions and delays on boxes and outboard gear. Ironically, his efforts led to some fans lamenting the "raw" sounds from previous albums. He chalks up the sentiment to the current trend in indie music.

"Most alternative indie music is expected to have this very open, honest feeling, but it's tweaked to perfection," he said. "I try to tell [fans] that this is one of the most raw things that I have ever done."

In an effort to aim for authenticity, Vannucchi also spoke to what he described as a "lack of inclusion in indie alternative music." He responded by writing an album entirely composed of gender-neutral songs.

"There's a lack of inclusion when it comes to gender roles. I notice music videos are always a guy and a girl," Vannucchi said. "I think that kind of thing shows the lack of gender neutrality in indie rock. A lot of people want to connect with something and have to look past the 'he' and the 'she' of things. I thought it would be interesting to connect with those listeners."

He said that not using pronouns in his lyrics was difficult at first, but became easier as he went along. His songs ultimately migrated toward romance, and in the end, he was left with what he describes as a romantic, poetic album that is written about a "someone" rather than a she.

"It's all feelings that I have felt before. I am singing about myself almost as much as anyone else — and I am also not singing about myself as much as anyone else," he said.

Regardless of who he is singing about, Vannucchi promises that From Indian Lakes fans planning to see the band on tour will get the live experience they have come to know and love from him and his bandmates.

"There is this atmosphere of acceptance and peace," he said. "If you come to one of our shows, nobody is going to be crowd surfing. People will be dancing a little bit — and there is a lot of swaying — but it's more observing." From Indian Lakes

With Bad Sun

When • Tuesday, doors at 7 p.m.

Where • The Grand @ The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $19 advance, $21 day of; Ticketfly






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