Channeling the raw authenticity of his own global experiences, Indiana Bradley is a sonic raconteur with a passion for melody and engagement. His nomadic journalist lifestyle has taken him from Argentina to Indonesia, amassing a kaleidoscope of narratives and insights far removed from his Midwestern origins.
Bradley’s music mirrors this journey: with fervent guitar strums, pulsating keys, and poetically interwoven lyrics that delve deep into the human condition, Bradley passionately explores themes of life and mortality, virtue and vice. Now, Indiana Bradley announces his latest EP, Pale City, an incandescent record that features AFI’s Hunter Burgan on guitar and bass, adding his own dark and moody touch to Bradley’s already atmospheric sound.
The striking “Rats on Cocaine” is a scorching critique of a world spiralling into chaos. It draws parallels to the heedless rush of lemmings and the entranced children of Hamlin, led astray by the Pied Piper. Beneath the hypnotic hooks, the song harbours a sinister, ominous message.
Bradley’s deep, droning baritone sets an intriguing contrast against the blistering pace that feels like a head-on collision between Fugazi and The Damned. The track stands out as an anthem, dripping with poetry and raw emotion, echoing the distinct echoes of The Teardrop Explodes, Lords of The New Church, The Gun Club, and The Birthday Party.
“Rats on Cocaine juxtaposes the euphoric drug and party culture of Los Angeles, with the sinister and deadly cliff that same culture drives us to as willing passengers,” says Bradley.
“Animals” is another heavy hitter. Straying from the frenzied energy of other songs, this introspective piece brings to mind a more subdued era, reminiscent of Beck during the Mutations phase, the thoughtful reverie of Tom Vek, and reaching back into the vaults, Crash Test Dummies’ introspective “God Shuffled His Feet.” This exquisitely minimalist track is adorned with Bradley’s distinct baritone, slicing through the listener’s emotions with a precision that is as stunning as it is moving. It is a contemplative, philosophical tune, underlined by a steady, deliberate bassline that propels the gentle melody forward, serving as an existential lullaby for the thoughtful listener.
“Animals is a conversation between the conscious self and the dream self, attempting to solve where their shared soul fits in the world and if it can achieve happiness before death,” he explains. “The simple words of a mother echo as a plea to be happy for her sake, if nothing else.”
With “Pale City Girl,” Bradley deftly reflects the tempestuous world around us, a dark and brooding vision that’s both timely and timeless. “
The song is about longing for the attention and eye of an intriguing and mysterious woman who simply does not see you no matter what you do,” says Bradley. “Pale City Girl’s urban tragedy, beauty, and possibility captivate you and underscore the bond with her that exists only in your mind.”
The concluding track, “CIA,” is a ballad that carries the wearied wisdom of the world on its shoulders, reminiscent of the time-honored styles of Johnny Cash or Nick Cave. It bears the scars drawn from the trenches of experience with rugged authenticity.Simultaneously, it also channels the storytelling style of Nick Cave, bringing to mind his ability to construct intricate narratives and profound insights into human nature.
Landing in Los Angeles five years ago, Indiana Bradley also released one LP, “Ghost Star,” and two live albums.