Whether you categorise your music collection by alphabetical order, genre, or colour of the spine most people have a set of albums in their mind that are perfect for the past-midnight ‘Rizla and Rum’ hours, reflective Sunday mornings or can create an oasis of calm on that journey to work which has the chaos of elbows and invaded personal space. To those tried and tested albums from Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, Kruder & Dorfmeister or Marvin Gaye you can now add Echo by Indigo Sparke.
From the opening amp-hum and untreated guitar of ‘Colourblind’ you can feel your pulse slow to the speed of the gently strummed rhythm guitar and swelling vocal line with its haunted harmony line. Songs unfold at the speed of flower petals, from the barely-there vocals of ‘Undone’ with its evocative opening line “Standing on the freeway with her lonely cigarette, holding up my mirror with the pictures that she made” to tracks like ‘Dog Bark Echo’ and closing track ‘Everything Everything’ which, despite hailing from different continents, put me in mind of the pastoral hallucination of Virginia Astley’s ‘From Gardens Where We Feel Secure’. Only ‘Bad Dreams’ and ‘Golden Age’ pick up the pace with the rolling riff of the guitar adding ballast to the floating melodies and the simple addition of well-placed reverb can send the vocal line stretching out into the ether for far-distant worlds to pick up millennia from now.
Indigo Sparke says of Echo “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.” The album is sparse, warm and urgent with lyrics that lay their subjects bare like the fervent bedroom intimacy of ‘Wolf’ with the glorious line “I am an orchestra of truth”. Echo sits in the magic hour between country music and folk; an album of humid poetry that barely breaks a sweat and maintains a precarious balance between tenderness and torment, heartbreak and healing but ultimately optimism.
Indigo Sparke – Everything Everything (Official Music Video)
Review by Paul F Cook