Indigo De Souza: All Of This Will End [Album Review]

Indigo De Souza
All Of This Will End
Saddle Creek Records [2023]

The final track on Indigo De Souza’s sophomore album in 2021, Any Shape You Take, was “Kill Me,” a song she wrote at a very low time in her life. But by the time she recorded it, the closing line of explanation which suggests that “I wasn’t having much fun,” is sung ironically, like a party anthem from a much better situation. On her new release, All of This Will End, the 25-year-old looks back on that earlier, painful time when she was “Younger and Dumber.” Like many people who come to understand that a lot of who we grow to become is the result of past mistakes and even times we were mistreated, De Souza sings that the fact that “you came to hurt me in all the right places/made me somebody.” Looking back at the arc of her life, she acknowledges that when she was “younger and dumber/I didn’t know any better,” but that led her to the place she is now where “the love I feel is so powerful it can take you anywhere.”

The musically eclectic pop artist is co-producing this time, working with engineer and multi-instrumentalist Alex Farrar and members of her touring band, which includes Dexter Webb on guitars and keys, Zack Kardon on bass, and Avery Sullivan on drums. Her expansive musical approach follows her organic sense of melodies that tend to dominate throughout, whether the song leans toward electro-pop like the opening “Time Back,” the pop balladry of “Losing,” or the weird, slow distorted electric guitar grunge of “Wasting Your Time.”

And even though she’s gotten herself to a better, psychologically grounded place, she’s still angrily exorcizing the demons from past toxic relationships, like “You Can Be Mean.” Giving the benefit of the doubt, De Souza sings “I like to think you’ve got a good heart/and your Dad was just an asshole growing up/but I don’t see you trying that hard to be better than he is?” Ready to move on, she turns the question into a feminist anthem for women tired of boys who haven’t grown up, “when will it ever get any better?” She may have grown from the experience, but as she says in the opening track, she’d like her “time back.”

Collecting her thoughts and doing self-therapy in her car sitting in a “Parking Lot,” she’s come to understand that it’s “hard to be a person feeling anything.” She may at times feel like “bangin’ in my skull/I’m a growing girl/my ups and downs are natural,” she sings, as the melody lifts as she finds room for self-approval. While George Harrison shared the idea that “All Things Must Pass,” in the folk pop of the title track she finds it helpful to acknowledge that “All of This Will End.” She concludes that even overwhelmed from time to time by doubt, and “feeling scared of everyone I thought I knew,” she finds comfort in the thought that “there’s only love/there’s only moving through and trying my best.” While “sometimes it’s not enough/but I’m real and I forgive,” she sings.

While Indigo De Souza is still a work in progress, as she describes her inner emotional turmoil as she looks out through the “Smog” of daily life, finding some peace in “The Water,” and the rich diversity of nature (“Not My Body”). There’s no doubt it’s an intense journey, as she uses a second grungy guitar rocker like “Always” and scream therapy to express her feelings growing up with an absent father. But like artists throughout time, De Souza’s crafting edgy pop and rock music from the emotional pains of her childhood. All of This Will End, while deeply personal, speaks to the complexity of life in music that is universal, fresh, spirited, and ultimately redemptive.

“Younger & Dumber” / “You Can Be Mean” / “Parking Lot”

boygenius / Snail Mail / Soccer Mommy

Any Shape You Take (2021)

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Brian Q. Newcomb

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