Last September Asheville-based indie rock singer/songwriter Indigo De Souza played a sold-out show at Eraserhood’s exceptionally intimate PhilaMOCA. However, she’s already returning to David Lynch’s former neighborhood, this time to play across the street, at the much larger Union Transfer on Sunday, January 30th. But, during a recent phone chat, I ask the musician what can be expected of the live experience in this notably bigger room and she tells me, “I think no expectations is best.”
Indigo De Souza is about to kick off a US tour behind her sophomore LP, Any Shape You Take, which was released last August by Saddle Creek and co-produced by Brad Cook, known for his work with Bon Iver, Waxahatchee, and The War on Drugs. The album has received widespread critical acclaim, with Paste proclaiming, “The Asheville rock singer/songwriter’s sound is marked, more than anything, by an honesty and intensity of emotion that is genuinely difficult to fathom, and that’s especially true on her remarkable new record,” and Exclaim saying, “It’s the kindest and most empathetic quasi-breakup record you’ll likely find this year; a manifesto on the resilience of love in the face of bone-shifting transformation.” However, De Souza tells me that that’s not the kind of thing she generally pays attention to: “I actually really try not to read that stuff. I try to focus on just continuing making the music.”
De Souza has said that Any Shape You Take works as a companion piece to I Love My Mom, her debut LP, released in 2018, and during our chat she tells me, “The last two records came from a really real place of pain and spiraling mental illness… But it’s all positive. Things always have been changing and always are changing.” However, she tells me that the recording of the two albums was quite different, with Any Shape You Take involving many more people: “I recorded the two albums in a completely different way. The first record was a more DIY, in my bedroom kind of thing… The sound [of the new album] is just much bigger and glossier and more polished than it has been in the past.” Any Shape You Take is also the first time the artist has produced an album herself, which she tells me was a great experience, but that she also very much enjoyed having the help of Brad Cook on co-production duties: “He’s definitely a great hype man. He’s very lively and has a lot of energy… He showed me how to use a lot of different types of synthesizers that I hadn’t used before.” She also tells me that she was a big fan of his before the two ever met: “A lot of my draw to him was the stuff he did with Bon Iver. They were one of my favorite acts growing up.”
At the moment Indigo De Souza has dates scheduled through September, including two Europe treks, a number of festivals, and dates supporting My Morning Jacket. In fact, she’ll be back in the general area when she plays the Firefly Music Festival in September. I ask her if any of the dates especially stand out and she tells me it’s all equally exciting: “I’m excited for all of it… I’m excited to go back to Canada. I haven’t been there since I toured with Alex G.” However, when I ask her about the highlights of her young musical career in general, she says that the real highlight is just getting to do music full-time: “The turning point at which I realized all of my work had paid off and I was able to pay everyone… Nothing else really ever worked out for me, and I just wanted to play music, and not a lot of people are able to do that.”
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