The music of Blue False Indigo is marked by the remarkable harmonies of core members Adrianna Valle, Makayla Scott and Kara Lepage. Formed from a friendship that began in college, the trio recently released More Light, a debut album that despite their "spooky folk" label is full of warm harmonies and rich songwriting. Enjoy our interview with the band and check out their book, movie and music recommendations below.
How long has Blue False Indigo been around? How did the band come together?
We've been a band for almost six years. We met in college at Drury University in Springfield, MO. It was through singing in choir that we all got to know each other and the rest is history.
Talk about your album, More Light. What was the recording process like? What did you learn from this experience that you’ll take to future projects?
Recording More Light was SO much fun. We had never recorded "professionally" before so we did not know what to expect. Matt Richards at Avenue Record Company was so friendly and so incredibly helpful in the production process. He added a lot of flair and polishes that we never would have thought of. The recording process was very laid back. We would sometimes talk for hours before we would record because we were all such great friends. I also think the band we were when we started recording is very different to where we are now. We grew SO much as vocalists and artists in the recording studio, really starting to realize our potential for the future and where our sound is going. I think the next time we record we will have an even more specific idea for what we want out of the project.
In terms of the harmonies, what songs were the most challenging to get right?
Hmmmm. That is tricky. I think the title track "More Light" might have been the hardest? The long vowel "i" is a hard one to match especially intonation and shape of the vowel. Maybe also the chorus of the song "After the Flood" when it says "survive". Same vowel I guess! We were all singing it very open and tall (choir training) and when we embraced full folk and made it wide and more nasally it all locked in perfectly. Funny how that works! So I think we have mastered it now!
How does songwriting work in Blue False Indigo? Who brings what to the table?
So our lead singer Makayla writes all of Blue False Indigo's songs. She usually just writes the lyrics and the melody and brings it to myself and Kara and we all work together on the harmony parts and counter melodies. Then we will bring that product to the full band and all collaborate on the end sound.
Makayla, you have a very distinctive vibrato in your singing. When did you first realize you could sing this way?
I'm not sure if there is a defined moment of realization, but to give some context on why I think I sing the way I do: I grew up loving and singing along with powerhouse pop vocalists like Christina, Beyonce, P!nk (can you tell I'm a child of the new millennium?). I always thought of "big and open" was beautiful and developed an inclination to belting. That later refined its self even more when I started to feel really inspired by Adele and Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine and the authenticity of each of their voices; so in my own practice I had these instincts and I was then able to hone and define some of my personal strengths and nuance with formal training and play on those in my songwriting - the belt vibrato being one of them!
What can fans expect in 2019?
We are completely booked through the months of April and May, and June is filling up quickly. So I think the biggest things fans can expect is LOTS of opportunities to see us live. Other than that, we are planning to go on another tour around August. We just got back from our very first tour a couple of weeks ago and we can't wait to do it again. Tour life was actually a lot of fun and we have a lot of hopes for what the future will bring from showing our music to different states and cities. Other than that, we want to record again so hopefully that will be happening SOON!
Blue False Indigo's recommendations from the Johnson County Library catalog: