The Garden

S&S Presents

The Garden

Indigo Plateau, Civil Lust

Monday, April 3, 2017

7:00 pm

Kilby Court

$13 ADV / $15 DOS

The Garden
The Garden
The Garden is a constantly evolving band based in Orange County, California. Established in 2011 by twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears. They have been touring since 2012 and have released four EP's and two full length LP's in the process. They've toured many different regions including the UK, EU, US, Asia, Australia, and Canada.
Indigo Plateau
Indigo Plateau
Sitting in their practice space, passing around a bargain-size bag of knock-off Captain Crunch, Salt Lake City natives Indigo Plateau take turns trying to classify their sound to me in a way that reads well on paper. “What really kills me,” laughs front man Evan P, “is when I have to say ‘Indie Rock’ to someone so that they’ll understand what I’m talking about.”

A few rounds of cereal handfuls later, we reach the consensus that their style can be triangulated somewhere between the instrumentation of Explosions in the Sky, the feeling of Beach House, and the drive of Interpol. However, being music collectors and admitted fan-boys of these artists themselves, the comparisons are only comfortably made to explain what they feel to be a shared attraction to sounds that stir the listener’s emotions. “When I listen to music, it’s to give me context to bigger questions,” says Evan. “I like music that I can exist in.”

For their debut EP The Heights, Indigo Plateau play the soundtrack to the kind of heavy-hearted, yet hopeful thinking that usually overtakes the young as they confront life’s bigness and uncertainty. Evan’s voice, being somewhat calm and faded in the album, calls out shadowy questions like the inner voice of a troubled mind. Still, the darkness is combatted with the band’s mystic and almost oceanic tones—creating a provocative, almost Rorschach test of a musical experience. Having been to a few Indigo Plateau shows myself, it seemed sneakily obvious when guitarist Michael Paulsen mentions that that their most frequently asked question during songwriting is, What are you feeling?

Ian Francis and Evan P at Man Vs. Music
Over the last year, Evan explains that The Heights was born from a difficult period of self-discovery. In fact, the lyrics of the title track portray evaporation as a sort of suicide fantasy. However, for Indigo Plateau, making art has always been a way of combatting personal struggles while helping others along the way. “I was listening to a lot of Ceremony over this last year,” says Evan “one of their tracks has a line that really helped me which goes ‘if you don’t care where you are, you’re not lost’… and I hope we can do something like that for someone else.”

For hometown fans, Indigo Plateau have grown abruptly since their teasing, two-track LP Washington released in February 2016. Ideas from early songs like “Northwest Drift” expand and meander through their signature use of doppler-like effects pedals and yearning guitar riffs, while taking the listener along with them in an intimate, introspective journey. At times, especially in pieces such as “I Beheld The Night” and “History Cutlass,” it seems that Indigo Plateau are making a musical map for that certain kind of melancholy that Victor Hugo once described as the happiness of being sad. “We’re all really drawn to nature and the Pacific Northwest, specifically,” says drummer Ian Francis. “I think the way the northwest feels is the way we want to sound. There’s just something about it, and its ability to have, all at once, mystery, nostalgia, wonderment…”

As Ian let’s the sentence linger, the four of us nod slowly together in the way people do when words are only able to mean partially—each of us possessing our own idea of what was intended, though none of us imagining quite the same thing. It’s in this wordless headspace that Indigo Plateau prefer to exist. For half a second, we feel instead of speak until the first person lifts his head up. “I don’t think any band really likes to describe themselves,” says bassist Andres Escobar as he passes me the cereal bag. “True,” I say, but that’s not their job. I start to think, really, who’s job could it be? From across the room, Paulsen adds “I think our music makes you ask questions when you are listening to it more than it provides you with answers.” Again, we nod like waves in silent agreement.
With that, Paulsen gets up and restarts New Shack’s Eingang on his stereo before turning back around to the circle. “So,” says Escobar, “anyone down to play Ghost Recon?”

- Nic Smith
Civil Lust
Venue Information:
Kilby Court
741 Kilby Court
Salt Lake City, UT, 84101
http://kilbycourt.com/kilbycourt/calendar/listing.html