Flashing Back to 2021 with Indigo Sparke (7/21 at UT w/ Nanna)

This May, Nanna – co-lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist of Icelandic indie folk outfit Of Monsters And Men — performed a midday, Free At Noon mini set at World...

This May, Nanna – co-lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist of Icelandic indie folk outfit Of Monsters And Men — performed a midday, Free At Noon mini set at World Café Live as a part of this year’s NON-COMM.  The performance was on the eve of the release of her solo debut, How To Start A Garden.  However, last night she kicked off her Disaster Master Tour at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA.  And this Friday, July 21st, she will be bringing her full headlining set to Union Transfer on this first solo tour of hers.  And while we’re really loving How To Start A Garden and solo Nanna (Seriously, listen to “Milk,” which sounds along the lines of a 21st Century update on a classic Pretenders ballad.), we’re even more eagerly anticipating the opening set from Indigo Sparke, who is joining Nanna for the entirety of the tour.

Last year, Australian singer/songwriter Indigo Sparke released Hysteria, her second LP, and follow-up to 2021’s Echo, which was co-produced by Sparke, Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker (a previous partner of Sparke), and Andrew Sarlo, known for his work with PHILTHY phavorites Madi Diaz, Hovvdy, and Big Thief, themselves.  When I spoke to Indigo in June of 2021, she told me, “I am very excited about something that’s potentially going to happen that I probably shouldn’t talk about [laughs].  But, yeah, I’m hoping to record my next album in the next two months.”  That album would go on to become Hysteria.

Our chat occurred shortly after Sparke moved back to New York, after having found herself quarantined in Australia, helpless to reconnect with the world, while looking back on all the ups and downs of her own personal history.  Last year she recounted the period in her most recent bio.

“I was going through an intense separation and processing all of that in the deep flux of the world collapsing… I was moving through huge waves of grief and trying to reconcile what was going on, internally and externally. The grief opened a doorway to the past I thought I had made peace with. But there were days where I just couldn’t get off the floor. It felt like everything was falling through this hole in my chest. It felt stark and nauseating to feel such immense groundlessness whilst also looking at all the different versions of myself I had been. All the varied different chapters I had experienced, from heavy drug use, to sexual abuse, love in all its forms, complex trauma and mental health, time spent living in India and Bali seeking something deeper to make sense of it all. It was almost like my life was flashing before my eyes. I realized I was in a profound altered state, as everything simultaneously stood still around me yet was flashing violently inside of me.”

The songs of Hysteria, whose roots were in this time back in Australia, further developed in New York, around the time of our chat and as Sparke began to work with the album’s producer, Aaron Dessner, co-founder of The National, also known for his production work with Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and Frightened Rabbit.  Consequence said, “The collaboration proves to be seamless with Sparke’s signature guitar flourishes immediately shining through. There’s a perceptible weight added to the new set, though, likely from a combination of Dessner’s floor-pounding production and the singer-songwriter’s hard-earned insights.”  The songs are the biggest of Indigo Sparke’s career, expanding upon the minimalist folk of Echo, perfect for the 1,300-capacity Union Transfer and her live debut in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.  Get your tickets for the show below, check out the music videos for Hysteria singles “Blue” and “Pressure In My Chest,” and read my June 2021 chat with Indigo Sparke.

*Get your tickets here.

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.