Friday, April 5, 2024

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  9:45 PM
  The Englert

Indigo De Souza

Music Performance - Indie rock pop songwriter

Venue: The Englert

Date: Friday, April 5

George Clanton: 8:00 PM

Indigo De Souza: 9:45 PM

Admission: Included with festival pass

“I was finally able to trust myself fully,” says Indigo De Souza of making her masterful third album All of This Will End. When the North Carolina-based artist released her compelling and explosive second LP Any Shape You Take in 2021, it led to a successful year of sold out tours and rave reviews from outlets like Pitchfork, the New York Times, and the New Yorker. Across 11 songs, the LP, which is out April 28 via Saddle Creek, is a raw and radically optimistic work that grapples with mortality, the rejuvenation that community brings, and the importance of centering yourself now. These tracks come from the most resonant moments of her life: childhood memories, collecting herself in parking lots, the ecstatic trips spent wandering Appalachian mountains and southern swamps with friends, and the times she had to stand up for herself. “All of This Will End feels more true to me than anything ever has,” she says.

Indigo finds recent inspiration from community and stability. “Up until recently, my life felt chaotic,” she says. “Now, so much of the chaos is behind me. I have an incredible community, I love where I live, and I’m surrounded by truly incredible people who are dedicated to deep connection and joy. My music feels like it’s coming from a centered place of reflection.” Opener “Time Back” deals with the necessary forward momentum she cherishes. It’s a song about rising out of struggle, putting things in the past, and moving on where she sings over comforting synths, “I feel like I’m leaving myself behind / And I’m so tired of crying / I wanna get back up again.” The track later explodes with her voice booming over a stunning arrangement. “You can fall into dysfunction or sadness, or allow other people to hurt you and not have boundaries,” she says. “There was a time in my life when that was a lot of what I was doing. I thought this track was a sweet way to talk about coming back to yourself, to your true self.”

Alongside the all-encompassing emotions captured in the first song, the album is bookended with the heartfelt and nostalgic closer “Younger and Dumber,” which Indigo chose as the lead single. One of the first songs she wrote for the album, the track began as a way of her speaking to her younger self. “While I was writing about the time when my music first started to take shape, it was also the worst time in my life and the most unstable I’d ever been,” she says. “I wrote this song paying homage to a younger self that didn’t know any better. I was flailing through life, trying to make something stick, and coming to terms with being on earth.” The song is her most intentional yet, where she sings, “You came to hurt me in all the right places / Made me somebody.” Though the track starts as a whisper, it slowly unfolds to something cathartic and explosive as she belts out, “And the love I feel is so very real it can take you anywhere.” With the clarity that comes with experience and healing, Indigo treats her past self with immense kindness. It’s her most stunning offering yet.

Creatively reenergized from having these songs pour out of her so quickly, Indigo and her band went to Asheville’s Drop of Sun Studios with producer and engineer Alex Farrar, who also worked on Any Shape You Take. “We just clicked so hard,” she says. “We had such an organic energy flow and we felt really inspired by each other.” Tracks like the pummeling “Wasting Your Time” and the muscular single “You Can Be Mean” highlight the band at their most defiant and locked-in. With lines on the latter like, “I’d like to think you got a good heart and your dad was just an asshole growing up,” Indigo says it’s “about the last horrible guy that I let push me around.” While she lets her band loose in the arrangements, especially guitarist Dexter Webb and drummer Avery Sullivan, these songs come from her own vision. “This time, I was more true to myself and refused to allow other people’s ideas to shape what my songs sound like,” she says. “It also feels really special because Dexter was able to fully express his freaky alien guitar voicings, and played a larger role in the production.”

All of This Will End boasts songs that run the gamut of human emotion. There’s pain and sadness, sure, but there’s a triumphant spirit of resilience throughout. Take the single “Smog,” which is exuberant, danceable, and about the exhilaration that comes from breaking out of daily monotony. Elsewhere, she’s introspective, like in the soul-shattering “Always,” which excavates her relationship with her father. But in the single “The Water,” she transforms a childhood memory of visiting her best friend into a meditation on growing up and the fragility of relationships. Over a programmed drum beat, she sings, “I think about what it was like / That summer when we were young and you did it with that guy in his car.” Though she’s no longer as close to that person as she was when they were kids, there’s power in reminiscing.

In many ways, All of This Will End has become a personal motto for Indigo. “Every day I wake up with the thought that this could be the end,” she says. “You could look at it as a sad thing, or you could look at it as a really precious thing: Today I’m alive and at some point, I will not be in this body anymore. But for now, I can do so much with being alive.” There’s a peacefulness in acceptance throughout. As she sings on the title track, “I’m only loving only moving through and trying my best / Sometimes it’s not enough but I’m still real and I forgive.” She describes the experience of writing this song as “magic,” as if everything about it from the words and melody had felt timeless and intangible and that she was just writing it down. Like the hues of reds and oranges that her mother painted on the LP cover, All of This Will End marks a warmer and unmistakably audacious era for her. It’s a statement about fearlessly moving forward from the past into a gratitude-filled present, feeling it all every step of the way, and choosing to embody loving awareness.