Indigo Sparke’s LP echo is acoustic heaven
Indie folk artist Indigo Sparke released her hypnotic new LP titled echo, and it’s certainly one to experience. It’s an album that feels like it’s playing right in some backyard: a small cottage on a hill in Wyoming, the night breeze with that colorful sunset, sipping red wine slowly in a flannel shirt. echo is a new reality. Indigo Sparke was born in Sydney, Australia, and was named after the song “Moon Indigo” by Duke Ellington by her musician parents. She taught herself guitar in her early twenties and has been playing ever since.
The album itself is an acoustic love letter to memories. A satisfying fondue pot of indie, folk and some elements of country twang, it’s a sound that’s familiar but distinct, and it’s hard to resist swaying along and being pulled into Sparke’s great, big stripped back world.
An ethereal voice seen in other artists like Weyes Blood or Helena Deland, Sparke slips and slides between notes in her songs and draws people in instantly. Her words are quiet and broken, but her voice is angelic, raw and real. This creation of isolating and soul-searching music seems to come naturally to her. As said by NPR’s Bob Boilen, her lyrics “both cut hard and comfort” and her performance is “balanced heavy, reverb-drenched verses with moments of airy and acoustic whispers.”
The lyrics on each of these tracks feel distinctly personal, words built on old ideas of love and loss but vibrantly recreated among the acoustic stillness and the continuous column of lyrical honesty.
The first track, “Colourblind,” is one of the best on the album. Sparke lightly strums a guitar, reeling people in with her sound, singing like she already knows about all the moments people will remember forever. When she whistles listeners away at the end of this track, it’s sad to go. The next track, “Undone,” feels serene with soft piano bubbling underneath its surface and is reminiscent of Mitski’s 2012 album Lush. Sparke effortlessly flips between ranges while singing of faceless gods, birds in the sky and the witch of desire.
Told in half-whispers, “Dog Bark Echo” is a half-song-half-story-telling track off the album. The acoustic guitar and vocals are woven into an ancient fable, forming a picture of the wild fever of love. Told through a spoken word poem, whispers and hums, Sparke’s words swim in harmony with the acoustic guitar and create the feeling of a life beyond that feels calm, natural and warm.
In “Wolf,” Sparke sings of the intoxicating feelings of love and lust and the shyness that comes with the falling night as the light changes across two bodies. The moon and the wolf unveil themselves in this track, and the simple soft picking of the guitar throughout creates a space where minds can think and revel in the isolation.
The nine songs of echo feel like poetry in motion, forgotten books of some ancient text of human connection and vulnerability. echo was co-produced by Adrianne Lenker, lead singer of the indie-pop group Big Thief, whom Sparke opened for in the past. Sparke said in an interview with Ground Control Touring about the album, “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.”
A prize in the indie-folk world, echo is just one of those albums that effortlessly inspires.