REVIEW: Indigo Sparke’s “Echo” is Simultaneously Intimate and Atmospheric


Produced by Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief, Indigo Sparke’s Echo is simultaneously intimate and atmospheric; Sparke reaches for the stars in the midst of the everyday, the sacred amidst the mundane, as it wrestles with death and life in its shadow. The album title, Echo, mirrors Sparke’s soprano soaring reactions to life, but also to the timber of her voice which leans more towards the reverberation of an echo’s recall than initial report. The combination of wide open production and Sparke’s innate echo brings forth images of canyons, at once shifting between the naturally grand and the empty urban decay of the modern cityscape.

“Colourblind” starts the record and sets the stage tonally with simply strummed acoustic guitar, the slow plod of a snare, and classical guitar lines interlaced with Sparke’s soprano. “Undone” finds Sparke contemplating a lull in life with an empathic understanding “demons have their ways, their games they play…god, I feel like hell today.” “Bad Dreams” builds on sonic themes reminiscent of an Irish waif’s song of longing.

“Carnival” tonally evokes dark carny as opposed to childlike wonderment. The spoken word piece, “Dog Bark Echo”, acts as the album’s fulcrum. “Golden Age” embraces a more energized pace with a strummed electric guitar that carries an “I’m going places” attitude in every sharp-cut chord. “Wolf” returns to the intimate and quite as if hiding from said wolf while “Baby” resonance heralds rebirth and renewal.

Album closer, “Everything Everything”, however leaves listeners with the confirmation that, “everyone everyone everyone is dying, everything is simple.” At first blush, this seems a dark realization, but on Sparke’s lips it becomes a near affirmation of comfort.

Out on Sacred Bones Records, February 19, Indigo Sparke’s Echo transports listeners into a dreamscape beyond the trials and tribulations of this world by embracing the degeneration of the everyday while also lifting it beyond the mundane on wings of a slow lilting song. Echo is an ode to death as complex and enigmatic as the final act itself, at once haunting and comforting.

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