Indigo De Souza’s show on February 28th at the Cat and the Cream got off to a slow, creeping start. With only guitar, her presence was the thing that shut everyone up. Silence took over the bustling room as De Souza’s voice cut through the silence like a breeze on a still day, airy and soft. She covered a variety of vocal-styles, from intimate singing to soaring high notes as well as guttural screams. Her tone was conversational and angsty, but was delivered with a delicacy. She sounded as if she was holding back a secret when she sang.
Dressed like a modern space creature with a hippie twist, De Souza wore space buns, braids, and a big t-shirt rolled up to show arms covered with tattoos. Her celestial look was amplified by the spaciousness within the songs. The music tumbled along with nothing sounding too cluttered or busy. The ambience surrounding De Souza was washy, which allowed her subtle nature to shine through. The stage banter was minimal, but the times she did speak were matter-of-fact. She told an anecdote about not being able to burp, showing her held-back presence in a humble way.
The songs varied in dynamics throughout. De Souza’s calm demeanor remained even as the character of the music morphed from soft to aggressive, and genuine to sarcastic. Tempo variation within pieces held the audience’s attention as they were taken on an ever-evolving emotional journey. This sometimes happened abruptly, the change causing the audience to physically flinch.
One song was a sunny celebration that contrasted with the somber nature of the preceding selections. De Souza’s smiley spirit as she sang, “it’s gonna be alright,” interspersed the lyrics with a giggle. The words were reminiscent of Bob Marley’s Every Little Thing. The energy in the room was infectious as the crowd jumped up and down. Guitarist Ethan Baechtold and bassist Owen Stone locked eye contact as they played a riff together with humor in those eyes. This brought a warmth to the show, glowing in a shared experience.
Certain words stood out during the show, with three songs referring to kitchens. Why was a kitchen scene so significant in De Souza’s life? During another, the singer and the audience chanted “these tits will ghost on you forever,” an empowering thought embraced by the audience with enthusiasm.
De Souza’s setlist did not include her two most popular songs. As the show ended, a small but noisy contingent chanted for an encore, but their efforts were too meek to catch on. The decision to leave out the popular hits suggests a nonchalant independence that she does whatever she wants. The audience was left craving more of De Souza’s otherworldly yet relatable presence.