Indianapolis’ From Elsewhere will bring their vibrant indie rock to the Motor City Sunday night.
The burgeoning trio will make their live Detroit debut at Nice Place, 70 Glynn Ct., starting at 6 p.m. with Merga, Anomaly and Carter Erickson. The show also will feature artwork from local visual artists.
“It’s going to be a mixed genre show with some hip hop,” said Nikhil Ramani, From Elsewhere’s vocalist and guitarist who originally hails from Chennai, India. “I’m really excited for Sunday because it’s going to be a good community of artists.”
Along with bandmates Travis Lee (bass) and Luke Duckworth (drums), Ramani will share tracks from their sparkling debut EP, “Just Like the Sun,” which dropped Friday.
The shimmering six-song EP features an eclectic mix of shoegaze and alternative rock – think Death Cab for Cutie, Smashing Pumpkins, Slowdive and Snail Mail rolled into one. The band recorded the EP over three days in late August, early September at Russian Recording in Bloomington, Ind., with Ben Lumsdaine.
With shiny guitar tones, solid bass lines and pulsating drumbeats, “Just Like the Sun” illuminates the dreariest Midwestern winter morning and creates a vivid, laid-back summer afternoon in the mind’s eye. From Elsewhere’s first two brilliant singles, “The Color Yellow” and “Collective Thoughts,” dropped earlier this fall.
“A lot of the EP is about finding yourself, your self-identity and a little bit of loneliness and sadness, just all human emotion basically,” said Ramani, who formed From Elsewhere with Lee and Duckworth in June. “Each song on the EP isn’t about strictly one particular theme or thing, it’s kind of a mix.”
That mix formed while Ramani kept a journal of his thoughts and feelings while writing songs for “Just Like the Sun.” Together, those self-reflections planted the creative seeds for the EP’s lyrics, music and approach.
“I saw this interview with Ben Gibbard, and he mentioned that every time he played one of these old songs, he would feel like he was that age again feeling those feelings again,” said Ramani, also a psychology senior at the University of Indianapolis. “In the next 10, 20, 30 years, I hope to feel that same way when I play these songs.”
In “Drown,” a slow rocker with steady drumbeats and emotional guitar solos, Ramani chronicles his thoughts about returning home India for the first time in two years. He sought inspiration from Peach Pit’s “Private Presley,” a track from the Vancouver indie pop quartet’s latest release, “Being So Normal.”
“It was the happiest time of my life, but I missed my flight on the way home and had to stay in London. When I came back, I was so jet-lagged and found out that my apartment was flooded,” he said. “Going from that high to a major low was difficult, but I got a song out of it. I express myself musically through my instrument the best in the last minute and a half of ‘Drown.’”
Ramani also credits the EP’s closing track, “Are You In?” a dreamy, indie rock anthem, with shaping the overall direction and structure of his songwriting. Personally, it’s one of his favorite tracks on “Just Like the Sun.”
“Last week, when I heard ‘Are You In?’ again, that kind of took me back. That’s where it all kind of started, and I had some voice recordings of me playing and singing it,” he said. “I just started singing last year, so even singing is a new thing to me.”
Together, Ramani, Lee and Duckworth, are eager to see where their musical journey is headed next in 2019. Since August, the trio has played several Indy shows to growing audiences, added a roster of live appearances in Ohio and Michigan and writing new material.
“Our goal for the next six to eight months is going to be playing as many shows as we can and trying to promote the EP,” Ramani said. “We also want to go back into the studio again toward the end of next summer. We should have some songs by then.”
From Elsewhere with Merga, Anomaly and Carter Erickson
6 p.m. at 70 Glynn Ct. in Detroit
$5 donation at the door