Words by Erwin J. C. Davis
There’s nothing better than sifting through artists on your Spotify or Apple Music and discovering a sound that catches your ear in the best way. In our age of digital…well, everything…it’s akin to perusing the record store and pulling a vinyl you’ve never heard of by a band you can’t pronounce, only to sit and drone it into your head for hours when you get home and place the needle. That’s how I found Indigo Boulevard.
Four friends from Falls Church, Virginia—Natalie Ingalls, lead vocals; Daisy Forbes, drums and bass; Clara Whitney, drums; and Colter Adams, guitar, drums, vocals, keyboard, kitchen sink. While they may not be from depths of the South as a traditional soul-indie group (think Alabama Shakes for reference) the sound that’s pumped through the lungs of these four Virginians screams of southern souls. The band’s sound is one of twangy guitar melodies and locomotive bass-lines, blended beautifully with personal lyrics that explore an inner-longing for an enthused existence. Their song, Drive Me Home, demonstrates the melding of these elements perfectly.
The song currently boasts over a quarter-million streams and continues to gain in popularity as more people discover the group, myself included. The song—portraying a set of lovers on a prolonged night out, hesitant to end the evening—is the band’s most popular single to date. The songwriter for the tune, Ingalls says the song was inspired by a certain person she had in mind. “I think having that experience [romantically] creates a soul that’s relatable to everyone,” she says, “you appreciate people who are most like you.”
One would think, with tones and stories so rich in human emotion, that the band would be full of old, broken hearts. But the members—all under the age of twenty-one—see it as a joy; like inhaling the breath of a fully lived life to the point of existential bliss. Put simpler: They celebrate the small moments of life with soulful gratitude through their songs.
In describing their ensemble’s tonal individuality, Colter Adams calls it, “An escape from the mundane.” He continues, “Life in a city like Falls Church; time drags on. We build contrasting melodies and lyrics to create a sense of exploration and wonder. Music for sunny days at the beach, or driving down hot roads in the summer evening.” Adams, being a jack-of-all-trades for the group, says they draw inspiration from other indie collectives, such as Oh Wonder, Hippo Campus, and Lunar Vacation. (Never heard of them? It’s okay. You are forgiven.)
As the four finish their college exams and prepare for their third summer performing as a group, a higher output is the goal. More shows, more songs, more soul. With a fanbase expanding from Virginia and Kentucky to North Georgia and Alabama, Indigo Boulevard is set to step into the underground indie scene as a new voice to follow. We may not have record stores on every corner anymore, but that doesn’t mean we can’t drone this melodic-buzzsaw of a band into our ears as we drive all the way home.