IF MARISSA NADLER, Aldous Harding, Joanna Newsom, Vashti Bunyan light up your world with otherworldly folk fire – and if they don’t, then maybe we can’t be friends after all – then you really need to take a seat right this minute, and be astonished by Australian folk artist Indigo Sparke, who’s recently inked on the dotted for Sacred Bones.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin with her single and video, “Everything Everything”, which we’ve embedded below.
It’s jaw-dropping, mysterious, intimate, delicate; fashioned from simple guitar figures circling and circling, drawing you into a blissful but not quite serene lullaby, piano touches resonating; and those spoken-word payoff lines: “Everything, everything, everything, everything … everything is dying …” Whoah. Dark folk supreme.
Indigo was born in Sydney to a jazz singer and a musician and was named for the Duke Ellington song “Mood Indigo”; she grew up to a soundtrack of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. It’s fair to say this music comes from her very marrow.
But in a way she came to music relatively late; she worked as an actor and taught herself the guitar in her twenties. She released an EP, Night Bloom, in 2016; opened for Big Thief; played SXSW in 2019, which led to a coveted slot for an NPR Tiny Desk Concert last March. You can revel in that here.
She says of her forthcoming album, Echo: “When writing and recording the record, I wondered how it would all come together. 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.
“I feel that death and time hang over me like questions; I have felt the shimmer and the edge for so long now but what I long for are the worlds of safety and safe love. There are so many windows in life to look through and so many ways to heal and express.
“My photography, poetry and music, were born at a juncture mirroring different parts of me. I see and feel visually, I am obsessed with immortalizing memory.”
Indigo Sparke’s Echo will be released by Sacred Bones digitally on February 19th; and on CD, trad black, red vinyl and deluxe red vinyl on May 21st. Pre-orders are open for business now at Sacred Bones and Bandcamp.