Posts Tagged ‘Echo’

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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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The third single from Australian artist Indigo Sparke’s forthcoming debut album “Echo” , “Colourblind” is an intimate, yet expansive indie-folk track on which Big Thief songwriter, solo artist and Echo co-producer Adrianne Lenker makes her presence felt. Sparke’s stunning vocals are sandwiched between soft electric guitar on one side and rustic acoustic chords on the other as she sings, “There’s a knowing in your eyes / There’s a truth behind my lies,” stretching that last syllable for what feels like miles. Indeed, the song has a distinctly pastoral, wide-open appeal to it, particularly in the whistled outro—you half-expect a tumbleweed to blow through the track, and its Paris, Texas-inspired video (co-directed by Sparke and DP Monica Buscarino) only adds to the effect. It’s rare to encounter a young singer/songwriter with that sort of transportive power. “I think there was a period of time when I was almost laughing at how sad I was in the space of ambiguous liminal love.

If you don’t start laughing, you just cry more,” Sparke says of the song. “Its a feeling when you are kind of sick to your stomach and anxious but excited and not knowing what the fuck is going on. The space of waiting. Waiting to know someone else’s truth, or waiting to see someone, or waiting to see what the future holds for you and that person, or waiting to see if it’s even real. Everything becomes that person, everything reminds you of that person, everything speaks that persons name. It’s a bittersweet thing.

Indigo Sparke brings her deeply personal lived experiences to her music, highlighting the spaces between the polarity of softness and grit. Pulling her experiences of addiction, of healing, of queerness, of heartbreak, of joy, of connection, of the softness and of the grit alchemising it all into tenderness through her music, she conjures up a myriad of feelings that is undeniably potent. Indigo was born in the belly of Sydney, Australia straight into the heart of a family with music in their bones. Her parents, a jazz singer and a musician, named her after the Duke Ellington song “Mood Indigo,” and her childhood was spent serenaded by a rich soundtrack of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. From a young age Indigo felt called to the stage, attending a performing arts high school, and followed it with three years in an acting school, working as an actress before embedding herself and heeding the call to the path of music.

Indigo taught herself to play guitar in her early twenties. Over the next few years, she established herself on the Australian music scene, and released her EP “Night Bloom” in 2016. Indigo’s career continually bloomed, opening for Big Thief on the Australian dates of their 2017/ 2018 tour, and then was invited to play at South by Southwest 2019. There, NPR’s Bob Boilen was first taken by Indigo, writing that her lyrics ”both cut hard and comfort” and that her performance “balanced heavy, reverb-drenched verses with moments of airy and acoustic whispers.” Sparke began 2020 with a February Tiny Desk Concert at NPR, and had been booked as the opening act for Big Thief’s sold-out tour of Australia and New Zealand, including a scheduled performance at the Sydney Opera House before Covid-19 saw everything change.

It was in 2019 that Indigo lived and travelled across America, in places like NYC, Minneapolis, Topanga, Taos, in many hotel rooms and amidst the vast stretching landscapes on the never ending highways, channelling her creative energy into the completion of her latest album, “echo”. “echo” was recorded between LA, Italy and New York, co-produced by Sparke, Adrianne Lenker (of Big Thief), and Andrew Sarlo (producer of Big Thief, Nick Hakim, Hovvdy, Courtney Marie Andrews, Bon Iver, Hand Habits, Active Child). The record was completed at Figure 8 Studio in New York City, studio of musician Shahzad Ismaily. Phil Weinrobe (producer/engineer for Leonard Cohen, Damien Rice, Adrianne Lenker, Buck Meek, JFDR, and Lonnie Holley) engineered and mixed the album. Of this incredibly deep and intimate record, Indigo says, “When writing and recording the record, I wondered how it would all come together. I felt like I was standing back in the desert, looking up at the blue night sky, wondering how all the stars would connect. I think sometimes it’s the dark matter or void space between them, that holds it all together.

This record is an ode to death and decay. And the restlessness I feel to belong to something greater. 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.” Indigo’s art searches for the vulnerability that comes with a feeling of true safety, a vulnerability that can grant access to a world behind tangible experience. It is clear Indigo has lived and woven her many lives into these songs, telling us, “I feel and have often felt a million different women ramble and reconfigure the corners of my mind and soul. I think in my life, I have ricocheted off so many different walls within myself. It’s an endless search to understand the mysteries of life and love and history. As soon as you think you’ve got it, it’s gone. Sometimes I feel so thin. Sometimes I feel so robust. I think that comes through the music.” “I feel that death and time hang over me like questions, I have felt the shimmer and the edge for so long now but what I long for are the worlds of safety and safe love. There are so many windows in life to look through and so many ways to heal and express. My photography, poetry and music, were born at a juncture mirroring different parts of me. I see and feel visually, I am obsessed with immortalizing memory.”

Indigo Sparke – the album “Echo”, out February 19th 2021, via Sacred Bones Records

Tom Petty Echo.jpg

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers define classic guitar rock better than just about any working band. The straw-haired singer obsessively revisits the same territory in album after album, with the same cast of backing musicians; guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboardist Benmont Tench have been with him since the Heart-breakers’ debut, in 1976,

Echo the tenth studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. First released in April 1999, the album reached number 10 on the Billboard 200 aided by the singles “Free Girl Now”, “Swingin'” and “Room at the Top”, The album was the band’s last collaboration with producer Rick Rubin, and was also the last to feature contributions from longtime bassist/vocalist Howie Epstein, who died of a heroin overdose in 2003. Echo was certified Gold only three months after it was released. Echo is the only Heartbreakers’ album to contain a lead vocal from another member of the band: Mike Campbell on “I Don’t Wanna Fight”. An outtake entitled “Sweet William” appeared as the B-side (or second song) on the “Room at the Top” CD single.

Only certain songs were played on the band’s tour that year. The record was largely written during a period when Petty was going through a painful divorce (influencing the lyrics of songs such as “Lonesome Sundown” and the title track), and Petty has cited that as the reason for his preference not to play any songs from the album in concert. However, “Room at the Top”, “Free Girl Now” and “I Don’t Wanna Fight” all appear in the concert film High Grass Dogs: Live at the Fillmore and a version of “Billy the Kid” appears on The Live Anthology.

“Swingin'” takes that won’t-back-down stance with its heavy descending chords and craggy guitar solo, its howling-wind harmonica and elegiac background harmonies. It’s Petty’s salute to a young woman who dared to get the hell out of town instead of sticking around to meekly meet her fate.

Released April 13th, 1999

VERITE – ” Echo ” EP remixes

Posted: December 22, 2014 in MUSIC
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2014 might go down as the year of female-driven pop music. And in this segment log-jammed with talent, New York’s VÉRITÉ managed to stand out above the pack. Earlier this year, she released debut EP, “Echo”!, to wide acclaim and to put a bow on what was a breakout year her,