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Nomads Indians Saints (Expanded Edition)

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Album Review

Following the success of their 1989 debut and the reissue of the previously independent Strange Fire, the Indigo Girls answered with another Grammy-nominated offering. Nomads Indians Saints shows Emily Saliers and Amy Ray in fine form, delving a little deeper into the themes of love and faith that run through all of their work. Now that they've had the chance to travel around, see the world, and hear people's stories, their poetic vision has expanded somewhat to include a more global perspective, but without losing the intimacy that makes their songs so potent. The title of the record is lifted from "World Falls" — "I wish I was a nomad, an Indian, or a saint./Give me walking shoes, feathered arms, and a key to Heaven's gate" — Ray's exploration of the world's captivating beauty and her options in hopes of avoiding departure — aka the moment of death. Beguiling stuff this is. The catchy melodies allow you to sing along without thinking too much, but should you choose to dive in further they give you plenty to work with. The powerful metaphors of our individual and societal conditions Ray sets forth in "Pushing the Needle Too Far" should certainly not go unnoticed, nor should any of the songs on Nomads Indians Saints, including Saliers' "You and Me of the 10,000 Wars," a heart-wrenching examination of the pain and comfort of a relationship. One without the other is all but impossible to achieve and would feel almost hollow without its reflection. That's the way it is with the Indigo Girls — perfect harmony between the elements.

Biography

Formed: 1985 in Athens, GA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

While they came into prominence as part of the late-'80s folky singer/songwriter revival, the Indigo Girls had staying power where other artists from the same era quickly faded. Their two-women-with-guitars formula may not have seemed very revolutionary on paper, but the combination of two distinct personalities and songwriting styles provided tension and an interesting balance. Emily Saliers, hailing from the more traditional Joni Mitchell school, boasted a gentler sound, was more complex musically,...
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