A lulling folk album with sharp lyrics that seek to dissect and discover, Australian singer/songwriter Indigo Sparke makes her debut with 9-track LP ‘echo’, co-produced by Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker and Andrew Sarlo.
Stream: “Colourblind” – Indigo Sparke
Indigo Sparke is taking her light and sharing her truth as subject rather than object. After spending years pursuing acting, modeling and other jobs that put her worth in the hands of others, music has provided a space for healing, introspection and peace. echo, Sparke’s soul-soothing collection of indie folk ballads co-produced by Sparke, Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker and Andrew Sarlo, debuts February 19th via Sacred Bones. Fans of Haley Heynderickx, Adrianne Lenker, and Tomberlin will find themselves at home with the soft allure of Sparke’s finger-picked guitar and melancholic, ethereal vocals.
Confronting the multitudes of herself in a gentle light, each song on echo pulls from Sparke’s experiences of addiction, healing, queerness, heartbreak, joy and connection. The somber “colourblind” opens the album in a shade of blue longing.
There’s a knowing in your eyes
There’s a truth behind my lies and
All of our planets, all born in a row
And nothing, not our stars signs
could show us what the future holds
Yes, I’ll wait
“dog bark echo” is a hauntingly cavernous mid-album interlude. The howling love-song lullabies of “wolf” and “baby” are attuned to the distance in intimacy. And with a final surrender to the cycles of knowing and impermanence⏤to the ways we persist in this “f&*@&ed up illusion”, the album closes with “everything, everything”. These reverberations of self are the resilient core of the soul, her soul. Sparke engages her heavy histories in a delicate balance offering space to reflect right alongside her.
Let me show you
All the parts you haven’t seen
There’s a hell
There’s a heaven
There’s a universe exploding
Sparke’s debut endeavor is a gift of emotional and spiritual strength demonstrating that echos are a reminder of that which has survived. Atwood Magazine had an illuminating chat with Indigo Sparke about her debut record echo, how her music videos have brought new meaning to some of her songs, a record in the works, what brings her hope and so much more.
Read on to learn more about Indigo Sparke, and listen to echo – out everywhere February 19, 2021.
We all have multitudes of worlds within us. There’s joy and rage and sadness and creativity and quietness and it all exists. I feel like I’ve just started to really hit my limit with that. I don’t want to have boundaries for where I can exist or be in a space. I am tired of conditional love where if I acted outside of the box or the boundary that was being put on me, my worth would become less.
Stream: ‘echo’ – Indigo Sparke
A CONVERSATION WITH INDIGO SPARKE
Atwood Magazine: It’s two weeks before the release of your debut LP. Where are you and what is life looking like right now?
Indigo Sparke: Hmmm, well, I’m in Sydney, Australia right now. I was just sitting on the bed with my sister and we were just catching up. Talking about life. She was giving me wise words of wisdom as she always does. She’s younger than me but she’s more grounded and together than I am for sure.
How’d you land on writing music?
Indigo Sparke: I kind of naturally arrived at writing music. My dad had given me a guitar and I taught myself to play and started playing. There was a relief in finding a refuge in something that was purely my world. I could do it on my own and I wasn’t waiting for someone else to give me validation or to say yes you can do this or no you can’t.
For better or worse, did the isolation that came with the pandemic alter your creative process?
Indigo Sparke: My music and my team, that all came together in the middle of the pandemic. I did not expect it to happen like that at all. It’s been such a wild year. It has affected me in many profoundly excruciating ways. But I’m also aware that I’ve had it pretty lucky. On a personal level, I’ve never felt like my life has completely shattered into a million pieces like it has in the last year and that’s quite confronting to look at. I think that changes a person. When you deal with the grief of that and the changes and the isolation.
How did you know echo was complete, was there a moment or a feeling?
Indigo Sparke: Not until I looked at all the songs and wrote them all out. Adrianne and I were talking about it. I kind of just played them all through and when we were listening to them back, we realized it was a collection of songs. I think it’s interesting how a collection of songs comes together and how they find their right place or right home. There were some songs that I loved so much but they didn’t fit or weave into the flow of things as well so they got left off.
You’ve released music videos for “colourblind”, “baby”, and “everything, everything.” Did conceptualizing for or creating any of these visual articulations re-define or re-frame or add to the intention behind your music?
Indigo Sparke: Definitely. It changed the meaning in a lot of ways. I was working with Mia Lethbridge, she was the director on “everything, everything.” She has a very wild mind, I love the way she thinks. She really went more into the breakdown of constructs between gender and femininity. When I wrote that song, I was really just talking about impermanence. I was feeling more like I was in a Tibetten Buddhist space of surrender. I was feeling all of the feelings of life and grief and birth and death in the same space but I wasn’t feeling devastated by it. I was at peace with it all. And then when we came together and we were concept-ing and drafting, Mia really pushed me to consider how I was really feeling with the state of the world – all this stuff about Trump at the time. She reminded me that everything is dying, everything is changing as we know it. More projections, more constructs. I mean, it’s enough to make a human being go insane. Some days if I’m not totally in balance, it can feel really suffocating. We thought, okay, how do we portray this in a video and make it actually really uncomfortable? Because it is really uncomfortable. [The music video] definitely redefined [the song] for me. We just dug a little deeper and found more meaning in it.
What does the word ''echo'' mean to you and to this project?
Indigo Sparke: I have said this before, I think it’s somewhere out there, but I felt all the different versions of myself echoing and ricocheting within. Being in some of those big landscapes, you’re kind of only left with yourself. I felt like it really was a time when I was confronted with the hundred different versions of the woman within me. I’m currently reading Women Who Run With the Wolves and I’m constantly revisiting it. I felt a level of peace reading the stories in that book. Just the way she talks about remembering in the first few chapters. Remembering the parts of ourselves that we’ve forgotten or that we’ve been conditioned to forget to survive in the world. Finding the bones and praying over the bones and dancing over the bones. That takes true time and space. It requires a particular level of vast space to seep into the quietness and seed of the soul and know oh okay that’s the part I’ve forgotten, or that’s the part that I’m rebuilding, or that’s the part that I’m needing for the first time. There’s something interesting about doing that work with other women. Looking at them and just being like oh my god, you’re amazing, you’re so inspiring and that part of yourself that you’ve strengthened or rebuilt, I want to do that in me. That’s beautiful because you’re inspired instead of comparing yourself to another woman or cutting another woman down. You’re just saying I really admire you, can you tell me how you got to that place of strength? I’d love to grow that muscle inside of myself. I’m so grateful for [Clarissa Pinkola Estés] as a writer for sharing the information the way that she does.
I felt all the different versions of myself echoing and ricocheting within. Being in some of those big landscapes, you’re kind of only left with yourself. I felt like it really was a time when I was confronted with the hundred different versions of the woman within me.
What projects are you looking forward to working on in 2021?
Indigo Sparke: I’m so looking forward to making another record. I’m excited to push into more of the guts of things. The rawness of things. Just express in a different way. I think I want to find more of an edge. I don’t feel soft and super feminine at the moment. I feel strong in my femininity in some ways, but I feel like there’s a new sense of harshness and strength since moving through some things that have felt incredibly brutal. I’m really looking forward to having the space to have that come through in new recordings.
What brings you hope?
Indigo Sparke: You know what, honestly, in the last week I’ve felt a little bit out of hope. It’s a tricky one for me to tune into because I think I inherently feel a sense of hope. It’s like a seed of light within me. However, in the last week, I’ve kind of lost touch with that a bit. I don’t think it ever fully goes away. It just can hide in the corners of your mind sometimes. It can be hard to find it. Art gives me a lot of hope. Resting in the home of other people’s art. Poetry, music, film. I’ve been reading “The Cost of Living” by Deborah Levy and another story of a woman who has been rebuilding herself in the wake of her relationship ending. That gives me hope. Nature gives me hope. I would like to say that I always feel hopeful for love, but at the moment, I don’t. Art is hopeful, always.
I’m excited to push into more of the guts of things. The rawness of things… I think I want to find more of an edge. I don’t feel soft and super feminine at the moment; I feel strong in my femininity in some ways, but I feel like there’s a new sense of harshness and strength since moving through some things that have felt incredibly brutal.
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📸 © Adrianne Lenker
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