credit Angela Ricciardi
Indigo Sparke announces her new album Hysteria, due October 7, 2022 on Sacred Bones. The album, a huge and beautiful work that possesses a rare and thoughtful power, was produced by Aaron Dessner (The National, Taylor Swift). She unveils a first extract, “Pressure in my Chest”, accompanied by a clip directed by Madeline Clayton. About the song, Indigo says: “In the birth of memory, there is the eternal moment of time. All things exist here. Through nocturnal dreams and wishes, hot tears and laughing stars, I transported myself to the desert to traverse the landscape of history and reconcile the ever-present “Pressure in my Chest” ).
After moving back to New York from her native Australia in the spring of 2021, Indigo Sparke finished writing a 14-song album and headed upstate New York with producer Aaron Dessner. “I just had a really strong hunch that I would do this album with Aaron. We had met once a few years ago in Eau Claire, and I asked my manager to contact him. When we first spoke, we were thinking of rewriting everything from scratch. I had a lot of demos, but I was nervous about sharing them. After hearing them, he said to me “There are so many things to work on here”. Indigo remembers how Aaron, who also contributes instrumentation with longtime multi-instrumentalist and collaborator Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Matt Barrick (The Walkmen, Muzz), got completely involved in bringing Hysteria to life. “Aaron is such an amazing person, to feel his generosity and to have him by my side is a real gift. It took me a while to get used to a different way of working, and to give him my trust and my heart, and his vision, but it was also so natural that we became close friends in the process. »
The connection was intuitive for Indigo and Aaron, who recalls, “I started having ideas almost immediately upon hearing his voice. We called each other and had a long conversation. She was incredibly open, and it was really a source of creative inspiration as soon as we started working together. It’s always a weird miracle when songs emerge that you want to listen to all the time – and that’s definitely the case with this record. It feels cohesive, timeless, and inspired in a way that I know I will always come back to. I think the chemistry is good. “. With Indigo’s powerful vocals featured prominently, Hysteria also features guitars and layers of instrumentation that practically act as the album’s lungs, giving every note breath. While her previous album echo bore the hallmark of producer Adrianne Lenker’s spectral and intimate approach, Hysteria has more body and is warm like raging fire, as Aaron’s instrumentation perfectly complements the songwriting. ‘Indigo. The result is timeless music.
On Hysteria, Indigo Sparke examines love, loss, grief, a new rage, her story, her dreams and the emotional patterns surrounding these feelings: her words tell stories, and the sounds stage them. Hysteria arrives just a year after their minimalist debut album echo. Here, however, Indigo offers a vast body of work – it’s a nostalgic yet clear and complex collection that expands its sound and vision.
Work on Hysteria began at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, when Indigo was stuck in quarantine in Australia, waiting for her US visa to be renewed. Her debut album echo was soon to be released, but she was already sensing a stream of creative thinking following changes in her own life. “I was going through an intense separation and dragging it all down in the deep flow of the world collapsing,” she recalls. “I was going through huge waves of grief and trying to come to terms with what was going on, internally and externally. The grief opened a door to the past that I thought I had made peace with. But there were days when I just couldn’t get up. It felt like everything was falling into this hole in my chest. It was hard and sickening to feel such emptiness while looking at the different visions of myself that I had been. All the different chapters I’ve been through, from heavy drug use to sexual abuse, to love in all its forms, complex trauma and mental health, from time living in India and Bali to researching something deeper to make sense of it all. It was almost as if my life flashed before my eyes. I realized that I was in a deeply altered state, as everything around me simultaneously stopped while flashing violently inside of me. »
For Indigo, Hysteria reflects the growth it has seen in recent years, to the point where, in its words, it presents almost an entirely different artistic perspective. “I feel like I’ve matured a lot during this period of expression,” she explains. “When you are alone in the dark, you see yourself more clearly. I realized much of my behavior and living habits in extreme states. On the edge of hope, sorrow, joy…I was at an axis point inside love just at the edges of the place that has been a refuge of hysteria for me in the past. So I was determined to find a sense of abandonment in the chaos. Unshakeable trust and faith. And a will to remain benevolent, calm and patient with myself in order to be able to go more and more towards the incarnation of grace. It’s the only way to survive for me now. So there’s a deeper acceptance of who I am and what made me, me. I think through all of this, somewhere along the way, I’ve slowly become a woman and I don’t feel as fragile as I used to, or now, I accept the wild landscape inside of myself and of my story, and that gives me a different kind of strength to work with. »
While the world Indigo Sparke inhabits is a rich sonic tapestry that draws the listener into circular spaces of minimalist textures and seemingly endless harmonic suspensions, what is most clearly on display is her voice and the shapes of the songs. Deceptively simple structures wind like labyrinths in a swirl of lyrical expression and vocal pageantry reminiscent of the early works of PJ Harvey and Meredith Monk. These compositions are a warm invitation to his world.
INDIGO SPARKE – Hysteria – (Sacred Bones Records / Modulor) – Released October 7, 2022