Augustine Rampolla and Kyle Gibson—both previous members of You, Me and Everyone We Know and touring members in Hellogoodbye—combined their musical geniuses and formed an indie/pop-rock duo named The Little Indians. With a background like that, the Baltimore, MD based duo appears to have a lot of potential, and on their debut EP, An Album From The Little Indians this statement rings true.
An Album From The Little Indians is a cutesy-pop-rock album full of uppity tunes that seem like lullabies for adults. Upon further dissecting the album, it becomes apparent that the songs have a darker side to them. “I don’t know where I’ve been, all I know is I’ve been having fun with my friends,” Rampolla sings in the opener, “Vernacular.”
“I Don’t Mind, Take Your Time” resides on the more relaxed side, singing the listener to sleep amongst xylophones, the vocals slightly drowned out by other noises. The harmonies in “What Makes You Grin?” will make the most sinister listener grin from ear to ear. It has a flux and flow tempo supported by rocking guitars and other various instruments. The titles of the songs are witty, clever, and almost always spot on. For example, “A Song For Fun Times” is literally a song for fun times.
“Roped In” is the best single on the album by far. In a way, it’s reminiscent of the scene in “500 Days of Summer” where Joseph Gordon-Levitt breaks out into a coordinated dance sequence to Hall and Oates’ “You Make My Dreams.” “The main line is, “You are the one. You roped me in”. Cheerful melodies, funky instruments and an upbeat tempo give it a happy-go-lucky vibe, even though it was originally written in bitterness.
However, most of the lyrics are a little too basic and come off as mundane. The listener hears one too many “she told me, she told” in the next song, “Go.” We get it, she told you something. If anything, this track needs to go away. Another track with this same problem is “Let’s Split,” a synth-infused and keyboard dominated track. The chorus simply states, “Let’s split, I quit, I’ve had enough of this bullshit.” It’s straightforward and gets to the point, but where’s the pizzazz? “A Moment Or Two” has a sluggish pace and Rampolla’s vocals drone on and sound monotone as he sings, “I need to get away for a moment or two.” Unfortunately, so do listeners.
The second half of An Album From The Little Indians is far more impressive than the first, though. ”Here we go!” they exclaim midway through “Think Twice.” The last song, “Night Owl (A Dream)” incorporates violins, ukuleles, guitars, trumpets and synthesizers, making it the most diverse track on the album. They ask, “Are you backwards?” and frankly, this was my exact thought in regards to this entire album. An Album From The Little Indians is weaker at the start, but finishes strongly. It’s nothing like YMAEWK or Hellogoodbye, but that’s probably for the best.