- David Bentley
Non-Nordic Sunday: Indigo Sparke (Australia) – Colourblind (single from forthcoming debut album)
There has been some comment made recently in these pages as to how artists got their names.
In the case of Indigo Sparke, she was named by her parents, a jazz singer and a musician respectively, after the Duke Ellington song 'Mood Indigo'. Sydney, Australia born and raised, her childhood was spent listening to the soundtracks of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young but her first calling was to the stage, spending three years in an acting school, then working as an actress before heeding the call to the path of music.
As with our current Danish favourite, Gurli Octavia, she has had recent experience of addiction to things it is better to stay away from. (Incidentally, in passing and while we are talking names, hers – the Octavia – is not Italian; rather it arises from her birth date, which is full of eights).
Also thrown into the heady Indigo mix are experiences of heartbreak, joy, and queerness.
The album, ‘Echo’, was forged out of a year-long road trip across America, staying in hotels and motels dotted along endless highways. She says of this song, "I think there was a period of time when I was almost laughing at how sad I was in the space of ambiguous liminal love. If you don't start laughing, you just cry more. It’s a feeling when you are kind of sick to your stomach and anxious but excited and not knowing what the fuck is going on. The space of waiting. Waiting to know someone else's truth, or waiting to see someone, or waiting to see what the future holds for you and that person, or waiting to see if it's even real. Everything becomes that person, everything reminds you of that person, everything speaks that person’s name. It's a bittersweet thing."
There is quite an arty video to go with ‘Colourblind, filmed in the style of Paris, Texas, a movie I did once see but can’t remember anything about now – apart from it being too arty for a philistine like me- and I assume that other person here is the androgynous creature who features in the black and white sections of it.
Physically, she is somewhat androgynous herself, like a 1960’s starlet, part way between Marianne Faithfull and Mick Jagger (who were once partners of course).
Vocally, she’s pretty close to perfect pitch, she reminds me very much of Alela Diane, and if this song is anything to go by her material is much the same too. It has a sort of Americana sprinkled with native Indian feel to it. Musically, the little guitar flurry and whistle which collectively act as a bridge are perfectly appropriate to the mood she generates.
Nice on the ear. The album must be worth checking out.
Colourblind is available now. Echo is due February 19th via Sacred Bones.