Indigo De Souza

Any Shape You Take

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Any Shape You Take Review

by Marcy Donelson

The second full-length from singer/songwriter Indigo De Souza, Any Shape You Take is the North Carolinian's first for Saddle Creek, which reissued her debut album a couple months prior in anticipation of its arrival. Doubling down on the debut's raw and candid ethos, the follow-up delves into dysfunctional relationships, death, and despair with a more polished yet still hooky, jagged indie rock co-produced by De Souza and Brad Cook (Bon Iver, Waxahatchee). Before deep-diving into songs with titles like "Darker Than Death," "Kill Me," and centerpiece "Real Pain," it opens with the poppy, Auto-Tuned "17," a synth-based song about ill-fated teenage love with its own dark lyrical bent. Live drums and guitar are introduced on second track "Darker Than Death," a midtempo, punchy indie rocker that has our protagonist wondering what she did wrong. When the set list eventually arrives at the lilting "Real Pain," it transforms a melancholy dream rock into a cacophony of "screams, yells, and anything else" that De Souza requested from fans online in the form of anonymous voice memos. That section is underscored by a pounding, in-unison bass and drum, swirling keys, and more, until it abruptly converts into a sleek jammer that stresses, "I wanna know it's not my fault." She goes on to traverse moody post-punk ("Bad Dream"), playful funk-pop ("Hold U"), and a default churning indie rock (including infectious highlight "Way Out") before closing the proceedings with "Kill Me." Violent and sexually explicit, it revives a stream-of-consciousness laptop-video demo from 2018 that De Souza later forgot ever writing. The song leaves Any Shape You Take on the too-pertinent repeated line: "Tell them that I wasn't having much fun."

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