Dog Bark Echo
Named by her musician parents after Duke Ellington’s jazz standard “Mood Indigo,” Sydney’s Indigo Sparke was born to be a performer. There’s no trace of Ellington’s influence in her work, however, as Sparke’s debut album owes more to the spellbinding folk of Joni Mitchell and Laura Veirs. Although her roots are firmly Australian, there’s a palpable Americana influence that permeates Echo, from the languid opener, “Colourblind,” to the Bob Dylan-inspired strumming of “Golden Age.” Sparke has been releasing music since 2016, beginning with her Nightbloom EP, which led to a support slot on Big Thief’s Australian tour and, here, production work from Adrianne Lenker.
Echo is a deeply personal record, with Sparke’s crystalline vocals occasionally barely above a whisper. She tells tales of road trips, love lost, and new experiences while reflecting on what it means to be a queer woman in the 21st century. The absence of percussion gives center stage to Sparke’s melodies and lyrics, particularly on the final track, “Everything Everything”, a rumination on life and death that brings universal sentiments to an intimate level.