Mato Nanji's always provided the heartbeat of the band Indigenous - along with the warm dusty voice and the soaring, spirited guitar fireworks that have earned the group from South Dakota's Nakota Nation a place among roots rock's elite. But with the emotionally charged and musically visceral Broken Lands, the band's second album on Vanguard Records, Nanji makes a transformation from sparkplug to visionary.
"I've wanted to make an album like this for years," Nanji explains, "but to a certain extent my hands were tied. Now I feel like I've achieved so many things I've wanted this band to be. the songs I'm singing are more personal. The sound of the band has broadened, and we were able to explore all the influences that are woven into that sound - blues, soul, R&B, and even country - more than ever. And the guitar playing is more controlled, to really let the songs speak for themselves. On top of all that, I've grown as a singer. After being frustrated for a while, all of this makes me very happy.