Indie rock musician Indigo De Souza on her latest album 'All of This Will End'
CAMILA DOMONOSKE, HOST:
The name of Indigo De Souza's new album is a warning and a promise - "All Of This Will End." Adolescence. Regrets. Life itself. The 25-year-old artist's third album is a collection of songs that keep you moving forward as they look back.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SMOG")
INDIGO DE SOUZA: (Singing) Alive in the nighttime, when everybody else is done. Come alive...
DOMONOSKE: Indigo De Souza joins us now. Welcome. Thanks so much for coming here, Indigo, and talking with us.
DE SOUZA: Hey, thanks for having me.
DOMONOSKE: So I wanted to start by asking about places because I feel like throughout this album, the songs are so grounded in locations, whether it's sand in the desert or a parking lot - a very vivid parking lot; I was so there with you in that parking lot - or flowing water. Like, this is the song - your song "The Water."
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE WATER")
DE SOUZA: (Singing) I flow down to the parking lot. I flow down to the parking lot.
I feel like places are important to me because they bring up a lot of thoughts about the world. I mean, that's kind of, like, a given. But I remember hearing that song about paving a parking lot when I was young.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BIG YELLOW TAXI")
JONI MITCHELL: (Singing) They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
DE SOUZA: I think that was kind of the first time I kind of realized that all parking lots weren't just there from the beginning. Because when you're a child, you kind of just think everything is the way it is. And then I started realizing that the parking lots had actually been paved and that underneath the parking lots, there was nature.
DOMONOSKE: Yeah, so Joni Mitchell speaking to you and you sort of carrying that same theme through and seeing it in your life around you, right?
DE SOUZA: Yeah, or just in a - in the world around us.
DOMONOSKE: Can you tell me about your home? I think it's Spruce Pine, N.C. Is that right?
DE SOUZA: I grew up in Spruce Pine mostly. I definitely didn't love it there (laughter). It was very small and closed-minded, and it kind of felt like me and my mom were the only people like us. And that felt very obvious. And because of how obvious it was, we were also targeted as the butt of people's jokes. I think because that was all I knew growing up, I actually didn't realize that there was anything else until I moved away.
DOMONOSKE: This is a different song called "Parking Lot," also about parking lots.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PARKING LOT")
DE SOUZA: (Singing) In the parking lot, I feel like I am somewhere else. I text my thoughts and say that I'm not feeling well. And I'm not sure what is wrong with me, but it's probably just hard to be a person feeling anything.
DOMONOSKE: I'm not sure what is wrong with me, but it's probably just hard to be a person feeling anything. That is so relatable.
DOMONOSKE: I feel like that's - we've all felt that at some point, right?
DE SOUZA: Yeah, the way that we kind of just walk around in society, having to survive every day, and we just go to work and do the things we need to do. But it's actually, like, hard to be a part of everything. But we kind of have to act like it's not because we have to survive. Yeah.
DOMONOSKE: Yeah. I wanted to ask about whether there's some sense in which this is a breakup album. I read that you had split up with your band before making this album. Is that right?
DE SOUZA: I definitely had a specific community when I recorded my previous album. And when writing and recording this album, it felt like I had really shifted away from that community. And it felt like so many things about myself had changed. And so, yeah, it could be called a breakup album, or it could be called an album that brought me into a more true self as well.
DOMONOSKE: Let's listen to a little bit of "Younger And Dumber."
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOUNGER AND DUMBER")
DE SOUZA: (Singing) When I was younger, younger and dumber, felt like a flower, you came to pick me from out of the city. You turned me sour.
DOMONOSKE: I wanted to ask you - 'cause you get a lot out of reflecting on the past in some of these songs, right? What do you find in looking at your past, even as you're sort of recognizing the need to let things blow away?
DE SOUZA: Totally. I mean, I think it's important to reflect on things in order to let them flow away. And I think that that's always been part of my process as a songwriter. It feels like I often write songs after the fact, like, when I'm looking back at things that I've been through. And it gives me an opportunity to kind of have closure and to actually let it go into the universe and kind of have appreciation for the things that I've learned. Yeah.
DOMONOSKE: So it's a wiser you looking back on the past, in some ways.
DE SOUZA: Yeah.
DOMONOSKE: No offense to your younger self - to your younger and dumber self. We all have younger and dumber selves.
DE SOUZA: Yeah, a wiser self in some way - always learning. Because I've been writing songs since I was 9, it is a very specific way of processing that doesn't always feel very conscious. And, yeah, it just happens naturally and ends up doing the work that it needs to do in my body.
DOMONOSKE: Yeah. Can I ask you about the songs that you wrote when you were 9? Do you - can you remember any of them now?
DE SOUZA: Yeah, well, I definitely can. And I also have recordings of them, which is crazy. I've thought about putting them out at some point, but when I was...
DOMONOSKE: Indigo, you should totally release your 9-year-old self's songs.
DE SOUZA: Yeah, it's really hilarious. It sounds like a munchkin singing songs. To be honest, the subject matters are not very different from what they are now. And it's just really awesome that I have them. My mom got me a four-track tape recorder when I was really little, so I have been trying to record music since I was a tiny being.
DOMONOSKE: I love the continuity that - like, 9-year-old and 25-year-old you, like, working through some of the same stuff in the same medium. That's awesome.
DE SOUZA: Yeah, I've always been heartbroken (laughter).
DOMONOSKE: That was Indigo De Souza. Her new album, "All Of This Will End," is out now. Thanks again.
DE SOUZA: Thanks for having me.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YOUNGER AND DUMBER")
DE SOUZA: (Singing) Which way will I run when I want... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.