Indigo Sparke - Echo Music Album Reviews

Indigo Sparke - Echo Music Album Reviews
Co-produced by Adrianne Lenker, the Australian songwriter’s debut is a dark little star of intimacy and intensity. The atmosphere is rapt, the silences charged.

The Sydney-based singer-songwriter Indigo Sparke makes the kind of spare folk that can quiet a room. Circumstances being what they are, she hasn’t had the opportunity to quiet very many. Last year, though, she was joined by a kindred artist, someone else who does not have to raise their voice to command attention. A few songs into her March 2020 performance at NPR’s Tiny Desk, Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker sauntered out. The pair were briefly involved in 2019, and as with Big Thief guitarist Buck Meek, Lenker and Sparke seem to have forged an enduring musical connection. At NPR, Lenker looked both self-effacing and worshipfully attentive, offering tasteful filigree: David Rawlings to Sparke’s Gillian Welch.
Sparke prefers to keep her music at a soft glow, brushing the strings with her fingertips to draw the barest whisper of sound. Her voice is often breathy, recalling dreamy folk artists like Hope Sandoval, Julie Byrne, and yes, Adrianne Lenker. If you didn’t pay close attention, you could probably slot her into a Soft Sounds playlist without pausing to observe the undercurrents running through her work.

But as with Lenker, there is a weird magnetism just beneath the surface. Sparke sings with quicksilver emotional ferocity, flickering out of her head voice into a lower register that hints at wilder, more elemental feelings. She acted briefly before breaking into music, and although her songs are simple, she has a performer’s instinct for how to transmute a rudimentary blob into a Rorschach blot. The atmosphere is rapt, the silences charged. The longer you spend sinking into her music, the more you realize its essence is not airy, but inky and dense, and Echo is a dark little star of intimacy and intensity.

By her own account, Sparke taught herself to play guitar in her 20s, and most of these songs are nothing but a few open chords broken into rudimentary fingerpicking patterns, the sort of playing you could more or less figure out in an afternoon. But on songs like “Wolf,” “Bad Dreams,” and “Everything Everything,” she hauls big feelings, dripping and alive, from the depths with just a few tangles of notes. Finger-picking is an intimate form, one that gives you a window into a musician’s consciousness—hearing the little inner voicings ripple out is like hearing a mind at work. It is subtle, ongoing magic similar to sentence-making—the way the words fall in a line, the places where the notes land. Sparke’s finger-picking patterns are so careful, so expressive, that they constitute little songs themselves.

“Bad Dreams” takes up a rolling quasi-flamenco pattern that recalls Leonard Cohen’s earliest work, or Angel Olsen’s 2014 Cohen tribute “White Fire.” “Everything Everything” pairs another basic pattern with an otherworldly-sounding piano, floating in from a blue-black darkness redolent of Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon.” “Everything everything, everything is dying,” Sparke whispers, and the mood is not gothic but serene, even comforting.

Conversely, Sparke’s lyrics make love and human desire sound perilous and self-devouring: “You broke all of my ribs in a dream the other night/You said you were not hurting me, just trying to hold me tight,” she sings on “Bad Dreams,” drawing out the last word and sounding for all the world like someone having the air throttled out of them. The sex on “Wolf” is indeed sexy, but also terrifying in its enormity: “Come upstairs, let me show you all the parts you haven’t seen/There’s a hell, there’s a heaven, there’s a universe exploding...I am wet, I am burning, I am an ocean for you.”

Her stark imagery serves the same purpose as her playing—setting the stage and ceding it. Everything is in service to her voice, which mingles sensuality and menace, soothsaying and foreboding. At the close of “Carnival,” Sparke dips again into her voluble middle and lower range. The song reaches a peak when the strumming quiets, and her voice quavers: “Oh mom, please hold my hand ’cause I feel like I can’t feel,” she sings, breaking again into her head voice, and simply keening. The moment feels alive, unbidden, a current let loose into the world and vibrating out into the absorbing dark.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Indigo Sparke - Echo Music Album Reviews Indigo Sparke - Echo Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on March 04, 2021 Rating: 5


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