Monday 8 April 2019

'American Love Call' by Durand Jones & The Indications

If the first album by Durand Jones & The Indications got people talking then the band's follow-up record seems to have them screaming in the aisles.

The relatively young band, formed while students attending the Indiana University in Bloomington, won over a dedicated and loyal fan base following the release of their 2016 self-titled debut, released through Ohio's Colemine Records.  Their distinctive style of garage-band soul music proved so perfectly apt for the brilliant Colemine Records, who themselves came off an excellent 2018 with releases from Orgone ('Undercover Mixtape') and Ben Pirani ('How Do I Talk To My Brother').

With Durand Jones's gospel-inspired vocal taking centre-stage and writing/producing duo Aaron Frazer and Blake Rhein at the helm, lightning was captured in the proverbial bottle with gritty, soulful gems like 'Smile', 'Can't Keep My Cool' and 'Is It Any Wonder?'. 

'American Love Call' sees the collective return nearly three years later with, dare I say it, a more well-rounded and even more soulful record than its predecessor.  Heavy on the strings, the album really finds itself at home with a series of lush ballads steeped in beautiful vocals (shared between Jones and Frazer) and quality musicianship with standouts including 'Listen To Your Heart', Don't You Know' and 'Sea Gets Hotter'.  There's also an added level of support from some stunning outside artists including background vocals from Kate Mattison from Big Crown's awesome 79.5 and Dala Records stalwarts Patrick Sargent on sax and Freddie Deboe on flute.

From the socio-political opener 'Morning in America' - with perhaps the best line of the year so far with "It's morning in America but I can't see the dawn" - the album is a call to arms, a rallying call for new energy and perhaps a new more united stance for a country that's found itself pulled in conflicting directions.  'American Love Call' is an exquisite soul record from a fantastic band.

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