Ryden Larimore, Reporter

25 years ago, in the heart of Goshen, Lotus was formed. Goshen loves music, especially jam bands, and Lotus is a prime example of what their love can become. Five members form to create an electronic, funky, jazzy assembly of simply fun sounds to listen to.

Like their cousin band, The Kansas Bible Company, the Lotus formed in Goshen College as a group that wanted to provide live music for the people who loved it. They may be associated with acts that had similar roots, but their success comes from the unique sound that dives deeper into electronica than their counterparts. The band started as a two-piece band of twins with Luke Miller on keyboards and guitar, and Jesse Miller on bass and sampler. They were joined, until 2008, by Steve Clemmons on drums, who was replaced by Mike Greenfield. The group now contains Mike Rempel on guitar and a percussionist named Chuck Morris who is most likely tired of hearing jokes about his name. 

Together, Lotus provides the jam band experience on tour, with shows at Red Rocks under their belt already. They are known for their concerts, but have released about 20 albums, encapsulating their ideas perfectly even from the beginning. The sound they capture in the recordings are ahead of their time, as they create a lo-fi experience that had only been seen by bands like Stereolab until then. While they are known for that style, they also dive into rock similar to bands like Foo Fighters or Red Hot Chili Peppers’ later discography. 

Their first album that is currently available, Germination (2003), contains a lot of electronic beats backed up by a drum set and more aboriginal drums. It is similar to a Talking Heads album, in their composition but diving into more of a jazz sound with an incredibly unique lead guitar that changes the tone of the song from jazz to blues in a matter of a few measures. It is an electronica masterpiece, and an incredible way to introduce a band in discography. 

Nomad, released soon after, in 2005, became arguably their biggest hit, and dives into more complicated rhythms and contains many different instruments, with a funkier tone. Their biggest hit on the album is “Colorado,” a song that highlights the strings with a break from the funk, and a comfortable, folk sound. It is simply easy listening.

Lotus’ most recent release is Bloom & Recede (2022) and is available on every platform to stream. They are also touring all over America, recently having stopped in Goshen to revisit their hometown. Though they have made themselves a following, it is still incredibly important to support artists like these whenever it is possible.