Growing up in rural North Carolina, Indigo De Souza’s mom would pick her up from school in a truck covered in naked Barbie dolls. In a town where being mixed race already made her an outlier, the weekly ritual marked her as even more alien from the perspective of her peers — a distinction she at first reluctantly then fully embraced through her music. Those themes of otherness and acceptance tied together her 2018 debut ‘I Love My Mom’ a folksy pop ode to the loneliness that led her to pick up her guitar.
Where that debut explored growing up and belonging, and second record ‘Any Shape You Take’ (2021) excavated the innate turmoil of relationships, her latest feels like a seamless progression from her previous collections. On ‘All of This Will End’, she lasers in on community, mortality and how where you’ve come from impacts where you’re going all with her indie pop prowess intact.
‘Time Back’ launches the album with whiplashes of emotion as De Souza’s voice goes from urgent to disaffected over pulsating synth. The track is a treatise on how hindsight and forward momentum can pull you away from toxic entanglements. Though the lyrics point to an outward source of pain, De Souza’s voice is dripping with forgiveness and understanding. Even when she sings “I feel like I’m losing my best friend” there’s no blame in her delivery and when she remarks “You fucked me up” over the sounds of children playing in the background, it comes off as more of an observation than accusation.
On ‘You Can Be Mean’, De Souza lets her voice crack as she recounts a romantic dynamic, somehow fitting in the breathless remark, “I’d like to think you got a good heart and your dad was just an asshole growing up,” over sonics that seem fitting for an indie love song. But the judgements don’t always turn outward on ‘All Of This Will End’. In ‘Losing’, she points the lens back at herself as she outlines her impatience, anxiety and feelings of inadequacy over quivering percussion, admitting “I was overcoming last month, but June is killing me”.
‘All Of This Will End’ closes with the album’s lead single, ‘Yunger & Dumber’. In the track, De Souza outlines what it feels like to look back on a painful experience while noting its ability to shape you into a truer version of yourself, whispering “you came to hurt me in all the right places / Made me somebody,” over twangy guitars. Before the song crawls to an end it builds up to a climax, with her voice shaking as she asks, “Which way will I run when I want something new?” The track encapsulates one of the North Carolina singer’s greatest skills, her ability to look back at parts of her life, even the darkest moments, with curiosity and gratitude, somehow transmuting those experiences into beautiful memories or, in this case, a wonderful album.
- Release date: April 28, 2023
- Record label: Saddle Creek