Interview: Indigo Boulevard

Indigo Boulevard performing live (Photo from FB @indigoblvdband)

Indigo Boulevard, a local indie rock band, share about new music, new habits, what they enjoy about being a band, and other local bands they love.

After you pause and listen to Indigo Boulevard’s brand new single “Downhill”, then delve into some details that the band shared over email, sent by Colter Adams (guitar and keyboard). The band is currently Colter, Natalie Ingalls (lead vocals), and Daisy Forbes (drums and bass) from Falls Church, VA. They are also hoping to add a couple more musicians to help with summer shows.

Keep up-to-date with the band on their website.

Interview

A DC Journey: Did you pick up any good habits over the last year (during the pandemic)?

Indigo Boulevard: We all enrolled in college a few months after the pandemic began, so most of the habits we’ve picked up recently aren’t much to be proud of. But I think in terms of music, we’ve developed some great routines. For one, we can all be a little introverted, which means we all sought out secret, hole-in-the-wall spaces pretty soon after arriving on campus. This included the roof of a dorm, an old recording space, and a basement practice room. Each of us got in the habit of disappearing to these spots to mess around on our instruments, write songs, and sometimes just daydream. As a result, we’ve got about a million ideas for melodies, guitar riffs, and lyrics, some of which might find a home on our upcoming summer project. On the flipside we’ve also gotten really involved with new music communities. Natalie is performing all the time with the Blooming Delta Music Club, which is a launching pad for the Indiana music scene. Daisy’s been jamming with friends, and looking into gigging in Richmond with some musicians attending VCUArts. I’ve been working on a new folk-oriented concept album with a friend from Boston at a brand new recording space in Brunswick called Studio 84. I think being stuck in quarantine has caused each of us to lean into music as a coping mechanism, which has opened up all these new doors. 

ADCJ: Your last EP, Cloud Noise, is pretty good. I listened to it on Soundcloud. Do you have any plans for another EP or a full length album in 2021?

Indigo Boulevard: Thank you so much! Cloud Noise was a pretty ambitious project for us, as we were all buried under the stress of junior year of high school, and had to record everything using sparse equipment in my bedroom. We barely knew how to produce. A lot of that carried through in the music which was pretty unusual in structure, and thematically, focused a lot on wide-eyed romance and escape from the suburbs. All of us have grown a lot as musicians since then, and we’re looking forward to putting together a larger, more cohesive project this summer. Whether that’s an EP or an album is still undetermined. But we want to continue in the direction of guitar-driven indie rock, with a little less piano-focused alt RnB. We’re also planning to record in an actual studio this time, which is not something we’ve done yet. Here’s another teaser: in the last few months, we’ve all been spending a lot of time thinking about the role of music in our lives. How we want to pursue it, and balance it with about a thousand other things college is opening the door for. There’s a really good chance those themes are going to appear in our summer release, date TBD! 

ADCJ: If you could open for any band/artist in the world, which would you choose? Also, same for a local or DC band/artist, who would you be most excited to open for?

Indigo Boulevard: Opening for Oh Wonder has always been the dream. Anthony and Josephine’s duo had a huge influence on not just our sound, but our interest in making music in the first place. They have such an infectious stage presence, so much chemistry, and such lively, upbeat, put-a-smile-on-your face music. I think if you were going to make a playlist of our favorite shower songs, Oh Wonder would be extremely well represented. And thanks for giving us a chance to nerd out about local music because there are so many incredible, trailblazing artists from the area, and we feel like the DC scene is heavily underrated. On that note, we’d love to open for The Crystal Casino Band. They’ve got this high-energy blend of surf and alt indie rock, which is definitely the direction we’re headed in. Also Pete Stevens’ voice is out of this world, and the band has such a great aesthetic and live set. The Crystal Casino guys are local heroes, and it would be a huge moment for us to share the stage. Some other DMV acts worth naming are our other Falls Church female-fronted indie rockers: the Bottom Floors and Sunhead. Also our indie rock godfathers, The Walkmen. It’s a huge source of pride to be making music in their city. 

ADCJ: What has been your favorite experience or event so far as a band?

Indigo Boulevard: This might be a bit cliché, but our first gig was pure magic. It was about two weeks before quarantine began, and we were performing on the fly for a benefit concert our friend organized at Crescendo Studios, in Falls Church. At that point, we were releasing pretty lo-fi stuff on Spotify and had built up a small audience, but we were really nervous about whether people liked our music enough to show up to a concert we organized. They did. We walked on stage and this huge performance space was filled with over a hundred people from our high schools, including plenty we barely knew. They shouted the lyrics to “Saccharine”, our first single. They danced and clapped through our cover of Imposter Syndrome by Sidney Gish. We even played an encore. The lights, sound design, everything was perfect. That show transformed the way we thought about our music and our band. 

ADCJ: If you were standing near where you were about to perform, what would you tell those walking by to encourage them to come experience your show?

Indigo Boulevard: Our live set is really dynamic. Every single show is a wholly unique experience, and usually pretty unpredictable and DIY. We’ve played in everything from cul-de-sacs to tennis courts to rock venues. Common threads are stories between songs, spontaneous covers, band members trading instruments back and forth, and a raucous good time. If that sounds up your alley, stay for the show! We also try to change things up by playing our originals differently each time we take the stage. Live sets are a great chance to give old songs a chance to evolve, and we really take advantage of that. Lately for example, we’ve been trading out the keyboard on Cloud Noise songs for heavy guitars and bass. Basically we’re taking alternative RnB tracks and giving them a surf rock flavor. We also have a knack for out-of-the-blue performances. Sometimes we just bring the instruments to the backyard and draw a little crowd. Sometimes we busk on the street. So if you stumble on us standing outside a venue, chances are we’d be down for a personalized impromptu show right there. 

ADCJ: What was the last song you couldn’t stop playing on repeat?

Indigo Boulevard: “Young Adult” by Ritt Momney is a big one for us. The lyrics are all about the struggle of growing up, which is a pretty big theme in a lot of our music. Plus it’s got this great overdriven rhythm guitar part that sounds just like Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” and an incredible male/female vocal duet. It feels totally irreverent and meandering at times, but also has this super anthemic chorus. Another one is “Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene” by Hozier. Upbeat rhythm section makes it super easy to move to, and if you close your eyes and listen it feels like you’re in a music video. Also pick any Beach Bunny or Mitski song, and there’s a chance one of us has played it today. 

Author: Jeremy Bailey

Writer and editor living in Washington, D.C.

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