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Indigo De Souza - Any Shape You Take Music Album Reviews

Indigo De Souza - Any Shape You Take Music Album Reviews
The North Carolina songwriter’s outstanding second album spans grungy rock and colorful, hi-fi pop, illuminating her impressive voice and her ability to wring out every last drop of emotion.

Some nights you go out, and along with the usual sky-high Uber receipt, return home with an iridescent, forever-memory. How beautiful your friends look under the soft gel lighting, cocking their heads back and grinning lazily; how liberating it is to whirl with them drunkenly as the DJ plays another song. In the right company, you don’t have to say much to be understood, yet there’s a kind of tacit oath: that you’ve known each other then and now, and you will care for the successive versions of each other that follow.

This sublime, uncomplicated devotion illuminates “Hold U,” by the 24-year-old Saddle Creek artist Indigo De Souza. Its music video celebrates the communal warmth of a queer party; friends brush eyeshadow onto De Souza’s lids and tangle together on the couch before getting glittered up on the dancefloor. “You are a good thing, I’ve noticed,” she murmurs to them—and soon a stylish, tapered groove kicks in to warm up the mood, becoming even more triumphant with the addition of clapping percussion and stratospheric wooos. De Souza’s language is minimal, but she imbues her words with such ardent sincerity that even the most elemental ideas are electrifying. With just one line, she seems to promise everything: “I will hold you.”

“Hold U” is a highlight of De Souza’s second album, Any Shape You Take, which traces a loose narrative down a rocky path towards self-discovery. Following her charming indie rock debut, 2018’s I Love My Mom, De Souza finally left a long-term relationship that she’s described as like “be[ing] buried and lost in my own body.” And so the songs on Any Shape You Take, written over the course of many years, are about wretched, ravenous kinds of love, love that alerts you to your own mortality. But they’re also about finding compassion for yourself and your loved ones. Musically, the record refines the roaming fluidity De Souza displayed in her early EPs and singles, where she flirted with smoky jazz crooning, Sylvan Esso folktronica, and even rapping. Co-produced with Brad Cook (Bon Iver, Waxahatchee), it seamlessly integrates grungy rock and colorful, hi-fi pop elements, with spare lyrics enlivened by her immaculate sense of melody.

In De Souza’s presence, bare-bones remarks take on tremendous feeling—and the magic is in how her tactile voice kicks through the skin of every line she sings. She can manipulate it into a wounded tremble like Angel Olsen and scratchy, ringing yelps; she rivals Frances Quinlan of the band Hop Along with her vocal agility. Reliving a sleepless night on the squalling “Bad Dream,” she tosses from tormented pop-punk howl (“I’m AL-L REA-DY GO-NE”) to flat intonation (“Please. Send. Help. To me”), eventually soaring into a keening, operatic falsetto (“I’m having a hard time sl-EEEE-ping.”) Unconcerned with places and names, she drills into simple phrases until they’re all-consuming. A haunting, unresolved question hangs over “Darker Than Death”: “Was it something I said?” At the end of “Way Out,” she repeats “I wanna be a light” for almost a full minute—at first with breezy self-assurance, then with ragged breath that hints at desperation.

Because her voice is so naturally arresting, it’s unexpected to hear her warp it with Auto-Tune and vocoder on the synth-pop opener “17.” Its saccharine production recreates a kind of guilelessness, as she casts her gaze at a lover from adolescence. “Darling… won’t you just bend?” she asks sweetly, before her voice seizes into something uncannily pinched and chirpy: “This is the way I’m going to bend.” It’s a bit of a red herring; nothing else on the album sounds like it again. From there, Any Shape You Take embraces unpredictability in its sound and sequencing: self-destruction (“Kill Me”) shadows life-affirming catharsis (“Hold U”) and placid wisdom (“Pretty Pictures”) follows obsessive thinking (“Die/Cry”). Midway through the centerpiece “Real Pain,” which opens with a clear-headed meditation on the inescapability of grief, the song climaxes in a din of crowdsourced screams. It’s overwhelmed by heavy-metal shrieks, barks like a rabid dog, and what sounds like someone exasperatedly repeating “fuck, fuck, fuck”—until it suddenly zips back up to crisp indie pop.

Is there a more honest and real response to hurt than screaming? Doesn’t it feel good to just let yourself cry? It can seem easier to stay guarded and cool, to furiously maintain control by trying to out-analyze your emotions. But it’s impossible to outrun them. On Any Shape You Take, De Souza commits herself to being undone, to experiencing the terrible feelings and the beautiful ones. Even when she’s fucked-up, there is something ecstatic in her attempts at loving, her hunger to absorb all she can from life.
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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 De Souza - Any Shape You Take Music Album Reviews Indigo De Souza - Any Shape You Take Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, September 09, 2021 Rating: 5

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