In April, Indigo De Souza released All of This Will End, the sonic equivalent of being stabbed in the heart with a dazzling, jewel-encrusted sharp dagger. The emotions evoked by the album are hard and intimidating, and at Union Transfer on Tuesday, Indigo’s whimsical melodies and signature guttural vocals that felt like periods not commas washed over the crowd. There is something to be said about intense emotional feedback loops at shows, and Indigo’s show was no different, it was raw and brutally honest.

Sluice | photo by Megan Matuzak for WXPN

If you are on the hunt for the perfect, introspective long car ride soundtrack, look no further than opener Sluice. Frontperson Justin Morris weaves together narratives from his life, including self-deprecating observations, make-believe, hitchhiking, laying by the creek and crackin’ beers. Strangely, being strangers to Justin and all, the lyrics almost felt like memories held by everyone at Union Transfer. It all felt so relatable, songs like “Fourth of July”and “New Leicester” off his March release, Radial Gate.

It became obvious almost right away why Indigo De Souza chose Sluice to open on this tour, they both write painstaking songs with devastating lyrics haunted by old ghosts.

The crowd quietly listened to the Appalachian tinged folk, rhythmic strumming and understated drumming, taking in the unique twangy Morris’ voice blanketed each track. “Acts 9:3” was all of these things and felt like you were in the backseat of the car he hitched a ride with. The other facet of Sluice’s music are the rich soundscapes: the squeak of a screen door opening, grass crunching under someone’s feel and the chirping of birds to name a few. See “Ostern,” which opened the set, and “Chickadee,” a song off his 2019 self-titled. 

Indigo De Souza | photo by Megan Matuzak for WXPN

To describe the crowd Tuesday night there to see Indigo De Souza in a word: hysterical.  That’s an oversimplification, of course, but from the second she and the band walked onto the stage to the second they left, the crowd was screaming at the top of their lungs, crying or belting the lyrics, mostly in key. The screaming alone made Union Transfer sound like a stadium packed to the gills with people. 

Indigo De Souza opened her set with “Time Back,” the first track off All of This Will End, released in April. It was a fitting song to start off with for other reasons too, like the rewarding “You fucked me up” line which bounced around the walls after it left the crowd’s lips. “Time Back” also encapsulates the entirety of the set and her music: a catalog of past abuse, past loves and dirty dishes. And how it all comes back in different ways.

“Is anyone having a bad day?” Indigo said to the crowd. “Give a shout if you’re feeling shitty and came out tonight anyway.” A few shouts rang out, Indigo affirmed.

Leading into “Younger & Dumber”, followed by “17” which bookended their set, Indigo spoke candidly with the crowd. She said that she had gotten into a lot of bad situations involving drugs and older men, all of which she’s still healing from. Indigo made it clear to the young crowd that they didn’t have to do that, that it’s not a rite of passage by any means. In the end it’s about choosing love, and healing when you’re by yourself and the fog of “Bad Dreams” creeps in.

Indigo De Souza | photo by Megan Matuzak for WXPN

The crowd walked through the skeletons of toxic and harmful relationships with “You Can Be Mean” and “Wasting Your Time”. One of the songs that hit the hardest that Indigo played Tuesday eve was “Kill Me” off 2021 Any Shape You Take, the gut-wrenching pain was audible not only in her voice, but the crowd’s too.

Cathartic would be one way to describe the experience of an Indigo De Souza set as a whole, even if it lacked resolution and offered only a little bit of relief. But during the set every emotion felt enormous. It was almost like Indigo was reaching out and touching every single person in the Union Transfer crowd, telling them what they already knew, accompanied by the band’s atmospheric yet attention to detail skillfulness. Specifically, Libby Rodenbough’s searing violin melodies brought it all home, tears welling in everyone’s eyes.