Five students of soul at the Indiana university who met up to only perform for an evening, turned out to become Durand Jones & The Indications. With a punching self-titled debut album launched in 2016, the band now announces their second and latest upcoming album; American Love Call.
The three tracks already available for streaming gives out a great sense of how soulful the band members have invested, during these past two years, in making songs that instantly draws out a nostalgic era where such genre was generated. Blake Rhein, the band’s guitarist and rhythm player, mentions an extensive crate-digging process of 70’s folk-rock tunes, among which the songs were designed; similar to beat producers taking cuts and loops from early hits.
As a signature on each tracks, Durand Jones’ and Aaron Frazer’s vocals hold a listener tightly enveloped in a blend of warm reminiscence swirl, along charms through the keyboard of Steve Okonski, bass of Kyle Houpt and rhythm out the guitar of Blake Rhein. ‘Morning in America’ opens up the project with a deep-resonating voice of Jones, narrating an outline of daily lives across different parts of the country, of Americans kickstarting their routines. ‘Don’t You Know’ magnificently consists of Frazer’s vocals on the forefront, reminding us to how much we can love a good trumpet rolling through the right notes, accompanied with the right harmony and words. ‘Long Way Home’ starts off with a rich keyboard and a following bass knocking just along, boldly stating how great of an album we’re into; and that was just how it starts, how it goes would sure bring you a long way from getting enough.
Taken from Duke Ellington’s Creole Love Call, a piece dating back from the 1920’s, the band wove a deeply engaged meaning into their title. Aaron Frazer, also the band’s drummer, mentions that Americans now glamourise history; as a time where simplicity prevailed along with the appreciation of a now lost glory. ‘Making America Great Again’ ?
Nevertheless, this glamourisation realistically spells some of the darkest times of American history; evoking violence, exploitation, racial repression and fear among so many.
Americans are humans, and humans are diverse. Yet, we tend to find things that brings us all together and the strongest factor to such lies in the ‘commonalities of our struggles’; that Frazer depicts as the unity that American people can push forward through, as an American Love Call…
The band has this ultra unexpectedness associated to it. The five members just met to try out a project on one night, with a recording budget of $452.11 (including a case of beer), and this ended up with their 2016 self-titled debut album.
Released on soulful label Colemine Records, the band quickly gained notice, being played at full volume in independent record stores. The album was re-issued in 2018, now targeted to worldwide scope and having Dead Oceans grouping up with the band.
The unexpectedness didn’t end there, especially for Jones, who after graduating school had plans to pursue a classical saxophonist career, by kickstarting in military band jobs. These plans were nonetheless cut short when prescription pills he’d shared with a friend would end up in the hands of an undercover cop. This left Jones with limited choices as taking up minimum-wage jobs and go through tough periods, that all formed part of his experiences that led to his second album with The Indications.
American Love Call releases on March 1st, Pre-Order your copy without further due!