The musician has been rising through the indie ranks for a while, but her shows still provide a homey, intimate feel.
Timidly waving to a sold-out 9:30 Club, Indigo De Souza flashed a soft smile as she entered the stage on May 29, guitar in hand. Bending down to take a sip of her tea on a shaggy green rug while her band tuned their instruments, the audience was welcomed as if they were a part of her homey kickback.
Having gone on tour with Lucy Dacus and gearing up to join Japanese Breakfast’s European tour, De Souza has been rising through the indie ranks for quite some time. Still, she remains humble—something you can easily detect in her live show. Inviting her drummer’s band Sluice to open for her, the North Carolina singer-songwriter is intent on uplifting friends, crafting an intimate musical atmosphere for her North American tour.
Beginning her set with “Darker Than Death” and “Wasting Your Time,” the artist cried out how excited she was to be back in The District. “Even when I would come here and scream like no one cared, D.C. cared,” she said to an eager crowd.
Diving deeper into her set, the artist played “You Can Be Mean,” introducing the track saying “You don’t have to let assholes touch you!” Rocking out to her angsty ode to a toxic relationship, her audience screamed her devastating lyrics right back at her. As a lyricist, De Souza knows exactly how to capture the types of deep-seated thoughts, insecurities, and anxieties often not said out loud. In her live staging, the artist reimagines what it was like to freshly get those secret feelings off her chest, unfolding each stage of grief in her deeply impassioned tracks. De Souza also knows how to be frank, calling it how it is.
“I wrote this at a point where I lost all friends because I am a crazy bitch,” she joked as she segued into her track “Losing.” Adopting a dialogue with the audience, the artist explained what certain songs meant to her when she wrote them. Notably diving into her existential thoughts and points of crisis, the artist spoke to excited fans as you would speaking to a close friend.
Before performing her quiet ballad dedicated to her inner child, “Younger and Dumber,” she noted that the track came from a place of a “deep primordial, existential kind of cry.” A noticeably quieter audience paid close attention to her delivery of her tragic, love letter to self.
Closing the night on an upbeat encore with her most popular track, “Take Off Your Pants,” the audience bopped along after a show complete with a full range of emotions. Leaving the stage just as she entered, with a shy wave and a soft-spoken thank you to the crowd, De Souza’s humility was felt. Crafting a show reminiscent of deep, late nigh conversations you’d have with trusted friends, it’s clear De Souza wants to intimately welcome you into her world, even if it means listening to one or two of her existential crises. Photos by Jenna Schwartz.