INDIGO SPARKE – ” Echo ” Album Of The Week

Posted: February 19, 2021 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
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When Adrianne Lenker says an artist’s “writing and voice are ethereal and angelic and guide me through internal canyons and plains,” you stop and take notice. Lenker (alongside Big Thief producer Andrew Sarlo) co-produced the debut album from Sydney, Australia-born singer/songwriter Indigo Sparke, who lives up to her collaborator’s praise on echo. Songs likeColourblind” and “Carnival” draw the bulk of their power from Sparke’s bewitching vocals, with only sparse instrumentation to pull focus from her mystic storytelling—a deliberate decision she and Lenker made. “This record is an ode to death and decay. And the restlessness I feel to belong to something greater,” Spark explains. “Adrianne and I talked so much about keeping the record stripped back and simple, that is, we are all just constantly getting stripped back and humbled by life.” Listening to echo feels like standing in the shadow of an entity so large, you can’t see its entire outline, flooding you with fear, but also an unknowable awe. 

Indigo Sparke brings her deeply personal lived experiences to her music, highlighting the spaces between the polarity of softness and grit. Pulling from her experiences of addiction, of healing, of queerness, of heartbreak, of joy, of connection, of the softness and of the grit alchemizing it all into tenderness through her music, she conjures up a myriad of feelings that is undeniably potent. Echo was co-produced by Sparke, Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker and Andrew Sarlo, and features playing from Nick Hakim and Big Thief’s James Krivchenia.

The voice of Indigo Sparke feels fearless, but at moments it comes at a whisper. I was first taken by this Australian singer on a random journey, listening to around 1300 songs for last year’s SXSW music fest. Her song “the day i drove the car around the block” has a mundane title that made me smile, but lyrics that both cut hard and comfort. “Take off all my clothes, kiss me where the bruises are,” and later the refrain, “Love is the drug, and you are in my blood now.” Indigo told the NPR crowd about the song’s origins of trying to learn how to drive on the other side of the road while in Los Angeles, with a huge vehicle and a stick shift.

She just gave up and wrote this tale of defeat and solace. On her third song, a tune that was so new at the time of this performance it had no title (now it’s called “Burn”), she’s joined on guitar by her partner, Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief. It all made for a most intimate and sincere expression of honest emotion and a beautiful day with friends in the office.

SET LIST: “Colourblind” “the day i drove the car around the block” “Burn” MUSICIANS Indigo Sparke: vocals, guitar; Adrianne Lenker: guitar

Indigo Sparke From the album Echo, out February 19th 2021, via Sacred Bones Records

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