Indigo De Souza – ‘Any Shape You Take’ album review

Indigo De Souza Any Shape You Take album review 2021

“It feels so important for me to see people through change. To accept people for the many shapes they take, whether those shapes fit into your life or not. This album is a reflection of that.’ Indigo De Souza’s ‘Any Shape You Take’ (her second album and first to be released via Saddle Creek) is a record that finds the talented singer-songwriter offering ruminations on human nature, the need for change and the importance of love and connection…

Indigo tells the subject of opener ’17’ ‘You were my 17, you were my A-team’ amidst synthesised vocoder vocals and a genteel backdrop of cute electronics before changing tack and asking what they should do ‘now the baby’s gone’… Following this is the appropriately titled ‘Darker than Death’, an evocative slice of sadpop with blasts of vibrant guitar surrounding the emotional lyrics: ‘You were darker than death when I spoke to you last. Was it something I did? Was it something I said?’ This state of mind continues through the short and sweet Frankie Cosmos-esque ‘Die/Cry’, which finds Indigo revealing just how much she has changed since the last time she spoke to a loved on: ‘I’d rather die than see you cry’; ‘I’m nothing like I was’.

‘Pretty Pictures’ opens with brooding guitar and pacy drumbeats as Indigo details – with brutal, heartfelt honesty – how sometimes break-ups can be best for both parties: ‘You know it’s gonna be for the better but it’s so hard to give it up’. ‘Real Pain’ follows in a similar vein, although the sound moves from a subtle soundtrack with soaring falsetto vocals to experimental feedback-fuelled noise and finally a minute of pure, potent pop. ‘Bad Dream’ heads into an alt-rock direction as Indigo pleads for help and tries to get her head around the actions of others: ‘Girls are fighting. I’m having a hard time sleeping’

As the album enters its final stages, ‘Hold U’ finds Indigo dipping into an art rock space – complete with a Talking Heads/Tom Tom Club bass line to boot, while the penultimate ‘Way Out’ has a more confessional tone: ‘I’m looking for a way out, there are too many ghosts in here’. While the grunge-tinged guitars bring back memories of the early ’90s, there appears to be a catharsis in the vocal delivery as Indigo passionately tells the subject ‘There’s nothing in the dark, there are no monsters underneath your bed and I’ll never be the only thing you love’ before some uncertainty rises to the surface: If you want to change, I’ll be here to love you’. The closing ‘Kill Me’ is full of deliciously dark and twisted lines as Indigo confesses her innermost feelings: ‘Kill me, slowly, take me with you down to the garden where magnolias bloom’; ‘Fuck me ’til my brains start dripping’. There’s also a line that will stay with you for a long time to come: ‘No one asked me to feel this fucked up, but here I am – fucked up…’

This emotional and intelligent album confirms Indigo De Souza as a pure talent, no matter what shape she takes…


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