The Indigo Girls may be one of the more misunderstood bands of the alternative rock era. And it’s easy to see why younger folks might balk at this music initially: Aspects of the Indigo Girls’ songs, such as the overly emotive vocal delivery and the florid, occasionally ridiculous lyrics, represent everything passé about the “alt” conceit (much like their similarly misunderstood ’90s peers, Counting Crows). But a lot of the band’s material has aged surprisingly well. At their most rocking—see “Hammer and a Nail” from 1990’s unfortunately-titled Nomads Indians Saints, or the terrific “Least Complicated” from 1994’s Swamp Ophelia—they sound like Christine McVie fronting the Gin Blossoms. (That’s a compliment.) And at their most tender, the Indigo Girls are sort of like the Gen X equivalent of the Everly Brothers, in the way that Amy Ray and Emily Saliers’ close harmonies create a glorious whole that’s indivisible by the sum of its parts.
by Morgan Troper
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