“Soul has something for everyone. It crosses boundaries and generations and relates so deeply in your feelings that you can’t describe it anywhere else but the soul.”
– Durand Jones
As a tonic to the laptop-generated, auto-tuned sounds of the day, here’s a tight and true roots band from heartland America that have become the new standard bearers of the revivalist soul movement. Durand Jones and The Indications are a quintet of twenty-somethings that met while all studying music at Indiana University and their scholarly dedication to harmony, musicianship and song craft shines through on their sophomore album, American Love Call. Where their first record challenged soul and funk traditions with rock and punk elements, this new collection emphasizes vocal-driven classic R&B, and the band deconstructed the ensemble soul records of Curtis Mayfield, The O’Jays, and The Manhattans to get their sound just right.
“We realized really quickly that when we sing together, it’s something that you just don’t see now,” says drummer, co-writer and co-vocalist Aaron Frazer. “There are no harmonies in modern pop; it’s front-person driven; it’s not diffused at all.”
The best songs on the album play singer Durand’s soul-rasp baritone with Frazer’s crystal-clear falsetto. Awash in glistening guitar licks, keyboards and rich horns, tunes like “Too Many Tears,” “Don’t You Know” and “Sea Gets Hotter” have a dreamy, open-road feeling to them. It’s no wonder the band has enjoyed great popularity with West Coast classic car clubs – as evidenced by the parking lots at their California shows. This is cruisin’ music, best heard under sunbaked and starlit skies with the top down. No particular place to go and all summer long to get there.