.

Indigo Girls Get Back to Basics

Ray and Saliers true to acoustic roots on "Become You"

January 16, 2002 12:00 AM ET

When Indigo Girls Amy Ray and Emily Saliers sat down to discuss writing their new record, Become You, they agreed that it was time to stash the distortion pedals and snare drums from their last LP -- 1999's Come On Social -- in favor of some rootsier fare. "Before we started the record, the main issue I had was I wanted to get back to basics and make an acoustic record," Ray says. "I wasn't even thinking about drums. I was thinking, 'Let's make arrangements that work with a lot of guitar interplay and vocal interplay that really work in an acoustic way.'"

Slated for release on March 12th, Become You features songs like "Yield" and "Nuevas Senoritas" that Ray stockpiled over the years in anticipation of another acoustic Indigo Girls album, and newer tunes, like the shuffling "Starkville." The album also features a variety of styles, from the soul-flavored "Moment of Forgiveness," to the bluesy bent of "Bitter Root."

"'Moment of Forgiveness' is this weird song that came out of nowhere for me four years ago in the dressing room of some place we were playing, and I never really knew quite how to treat it," Ray says. "The keyboard player in our band, Carol Isaacs, came up with that riff at the beginning, and sort of set the tone for the whole thing."

After more than fifteen years in the Indigo Girls, Ray says that the time she spent making and touring behind her solo record helped to keep things interesting.

"I definitely needed to break off and do something that was very autonomous, just to help myself get away and have this other space I could go," she says. "It's a different kind of validation. With my own thing I toured alone and I had to do everything by myself. It was all about the music and much more self-motivated. I think that helped me because then I can go back to Indigo Girls and feel fresh about that and remember what's important."

Ray and Saliers typically write songs independently, but this time, while recording at Tree Sound Studios in Norcross, Georgia, they broke the mold.

"We kind of traded off instruments on this record," Ray says. "I would be in the middle of a lead on mandolin and I'd be like, 'I can't figure out where to go from here,' and she'd just take it from me and play the rest of it. We've never done that before."

The Indigo Girls have lined up a string of club dates in advance of Become You. The are as follows:
2/11: Boulder, CO, Fox Theatre
2/13: Seattle, Crocodile
2/14: Portland, OR, Aladdin
2/15: San Francisco, Slim's
2/18: Los Angeles, The Knitting Factory
2/21: Austin, TX, Mercury
2/22: Dallas, Sons of Hermann Hall
2/24: Nashville, 3rd & Lindsley
2/25: Atlanta, TBA
2/26: New York City, Bowery Ballroom
2/27: Philadelphia, Theater of Living Arts
2/28: Madison, NJ, Drew University
3/1: Boston, Paradise
3/3: Buffalo, NY, University of Bufflao
3/4: Ottawa, ONT, TBA
3/5: Toronto, ONT, Lee's Palace

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Promiscuous”

Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com