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Indigo Sparke brings her deeply personal lived experiences to her music, highlighting the spaces between the polarity of softness and grit. Pulling her experiences of addiction, of healing, of queerness, of heartbreak, of joy, of connection, of the softness and of the grit alchemising it all into tenderness through her music, she conjures up a myriad of feelings that is undeniably potent.
Indigo was born in the belly of Sydney, Australia straight into the heart of a family with music in their bones. Her parents, a jazz singer and a musician, named her after the Duke Ellington song “Mood Indigo,” and her childhood was spent serenaded by a rich soundtrack of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. From a young age Indigo felt called to the stage, attending a performing arts high school, and followed it with three years in an acting school, working as an actress before embedding herself and heeding the call to the path of music.
Indigo taught herself to play guitar in her early twenties. Over the next few years, she established herself on the Australian music scene, and released her EP Night Bloom in 2016. Indigo’s career continually bloomed, opening for Big Thief on the Australian dates of their 2017/ 2018 tour, and then was invited to play at South by Southwest 2019. There, NPR’s Bob Boilen was first taken by Indigo, writing that her lyrics ”both cut hard and comfort” and that her performance “balanced heavy, reverb-drenched verses with moments of airy and acoustic whispers.” Sparke began 2020 with a February Tiny Desk Concert at NPR, and had been booked as the opening act for Big Thief’s sold-out tour of Australia and New Zealand, including a scheduled performance at the Sydney Opera House before Covid-19 saw everything change.
It was in 2019 that Indigo lived and travelled across America, in places like NYC, Minneapolis, Topanga, Taos, in many hotel rooms and amidst the vast stretching landscapes on the never ending highways, channelling her creative energy into the completion of her latest album, echo. echo was recorded between LA, Italy and New York, co-produced by Sparke, Adrianne Lenker (of Big Thief), and Andrew Sarlo (producer of Big Thief, Nick Hakim, Hovvdy, Courtney Marie Andrews, Bon Iver, Hand Habits, Active Child). The record was completed at Figure 8 Studio in New York City, studio of musician Shahzad Ismaily. Phil Weinrobe (producer/engineer for Leonard Cohen, Damien Rice, Adrianne Lenker, Buck Meek, JFDR, and Lonnie Holley) engineered and mixed the album.
Of this incredibly deep and intimate record, Indigo says, “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. Adrianne and I talked so much about keeping the record stripped back and simple, that is, we are all just constantly getting stripped back and humbled by life."