Deeply Intricate , forever existential
Joe Smith
11:01 26th August 2021

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On an album that’s constantly fluid, Indigo De Souza never stops moving. Even in the record's most introspective moments, De Souza still finds herself restless, a perfect representation of her mindset when creating Any Shape You Take. She’s taken control of her own chaos, assured, unique, and fascinating. 

Throughout the record's expansive soundscapes, De Souza finds herself exploring past relationships, and how her attitude towards them has changed as her world has been shifting around her. By exploring her attitude towards spaces of love and connection, De Souza’s sophomore LP is a perfect reconnection with the North Carolina native, detailing a version of herself that she isn’t so familiar with anymore. 

Opener '17' is a new direction for De Souza, merging synth and vocal distortion, her voice switches from ever so slightly auto-tuned to brash instances of high-pitched glory. As the track continues, low, synthy hums are accompanied by stable drums and a diaphanous key melody, resulting in an example of De Souza at her best. Unapologetically experimental.

'Die/Cry' echoes De Souza’s debut, but her vocals seem rawer here. “I’d rather die before you die” she sings in an unusually upbeat pattern. Beneath her main vocals are layers of backing, built up on top of each other to create a mixture of devilishly unique sounds, a fine example of the immaculate this record offers in some places. 

'Bad Dream' is an explosion of raw emotion. Rock-centric guitars thrash slowly as the lead guitar cuts its way through the back of them, scratching its mark through the middle of them, whilst never taking centre stage. However, it’s in De Souza’s vocals that this track truly finds itself. Finding herself in the middle of an eclectic whirlwind of sound, her voice morphs from mournful cries to visceral instances of pure sadness, mimicked by the guitar in a way both taunting and sympathetic. 

Throughout the rest of the record, De Souza traverses through ever amassing sound (‘Late Night Crawlers’), funk-infused riffage (‘Hold U’), and viscerally emotive slacker rock (‘Kill Me’). Any Shape You Take isn’t fond of boundaries, it batters down walls whenever it feels like it, blending together sounds that shouldn’t work, but always do. 

A thrilling sophomore album, Any Shape You Take imbues existentialism in an intricately crafted mixture of melancholy joy. 

Any Shape You Take arrives 27 August via Saddle Creek.

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Photo: Press