Aoife Nessa Frances
In spring of 2020, Aoife Nessa Frances moved out of the city for the first time in her life. After packing up
her things in Dublin, she moved to rural County Clare on the west coast of Ireland, and there, amidst the
stillness, she worked on the songs that would become her second album, Protector. The resulting body of
work deftly juxtaposes golden hours and arguments, affection and alienation, and above all marks a
crucial period of her life that was transformative and left her wiser.
“I might have been running away from my problems,” she admits. “I was disconnected from myself and
from nature, but I found peace far away from the city, where there were no distractions. I isolated myself
with nothing to do but make music.” Writing Protector provided Frances an essential sounding board for
this journey. “I felt a growing inner strength that guided me through the making of this album. It was like
sculpting with my eyes closed, this intense sense of self-preservation leading me and growing with each
song I wrote. When I started, I didn’t recognise myself. With each song, I became more human.”
Protector builds pastoral landscapes through light flourishes and open spaces. Songs float along
effortlessly, remaining anchored by Frances’ deep voice. Contemplative tempos tug along atmospheric
synths, minimal bass, and shimmering guitar notes, conveying a serenity like early morning. Frances
found that the noiselessness allowed her, at long last, to listen to herself. “I got up every day before
sunrise and took my guitar to a place where nobody could hear me,” she discloses. “These songs were
written in the magic hour before the world wakes up.”
Indigo Sparke writes with a rare and reflective power, creating music that builds and bursts as she examines love, loss, grief, and a newly realized rage. Born in Australia and now based in New York, Indigo worked as an actress before establishing herself in the Sydney music scene with her EP Night Bloom (2016). Over the next few years, she toured and collaborated extensively with Big Thief, released her single, “The Day I Drove the Car Around the Block,” to critical acclaim, had a song featured on the TV show Cloudy River, and performed across Australia and the U.S., including at the Splendour in the Grass Festival, a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR, and SXSW 2019 and 2021.
Indigo signed with Sacred Bones in early 2021, and made her label debut shortly after with Echo, which she co-produced with Adrianne Lenker (Big Thief), and Andrew Sarlo (producer of Big Thief, Nick Hakim, Bon Iver, and Hand Habits). Pitchfork described Echo as “a dark little star of intimacy and intensity… Sparke sings with quicksilver emotional ferocity.” In spring 2021, Indigo began work on her second album with producer Aaron Dessner (The National, Taylor Swift). That album, Hysteria, is packed with big guitars and layered instrumentation that act as lungs, giving every note breath underneath Indigo’s soaring vocals. Hysteria is slated for release on October 7th 2022.