Acclaimed roots musician and North Carolina native Seth Walker’s eleventh album I Hope I Know is a soulful and introspective rendering that explores themes of love and loss, forgiveness and reconciliation, and ultimately, peace and hope. Beginning with the insightful “The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be” and concluding with a call for unity in the moving and timely “Peace in the Valley,” Walker also includes three covers that seamlessly contribute to the overarching narrative of the album. Art seems to mirror life in Walker’s cover of Bobby Charles’ “Tennessee Blues,” as he found himself leaving Nashville and returning to Asheville during the pandemic. He explains that Van Morrison’s “Warm Love” “seemed to be a welcome breath of air amidst some of the heavier and contemplative material.”
Walker’s gorgeous title track “I Hope I Know” is inspired by the Hawaiian prayer of forgiveness, “Ho’oponopono,” and features the elegant harmonies of Allison Russell, rounding out a near-perfect album. Walker says that it “was the most difficult one to write emotionally speaking, as I navigated a long-term love relationship breakup, along with the pandemic warp and a move to a new city—a trifecta. It was tricky to strike that chord lyrically and musically in line with the gentle notion of accepting some things that I may never understand and ultimately the ‘hope’ of coming to terms and to live into the answers of those questions down the line.”
Indigo De Souza — Any Shape You Take
A Celebrated Indie artist Indigo De Souza’s exceptional sophomore album Any Shape You Take takes an unfiltered and cathartic look at mortality, pain, self-discovery, acceptance, and love. The album begins with the haunting “17” and becomes increasingly more intense. “Die/Cry” delivers a gut punch as De Souza sings “Well, I’d rather die than see you cry/Than see you cry, than see you cry” and continues with a declaration of transformation: “‘I’m nothing like I was / I’m nothing like the girl you loved / I haven’t seen her in months.”
Gritty and raw, De Souza doesn’t hold back while confronting depression and self-destruction in the existential “Real Pain,” which contains the beautifully honest lyrics her fans have come to expect. It’s a song that quite simply demands to be felt, and features crowd-sourced screams, reinforcing the message that we are connected in our human experience and our oftentimes collective and unseen pain. “Hold U” is a respite from some of the album’s darker themes, offering an optimistic promise of love: “You are a good thing, I’ve noticed / I’ve seen it / And I want the best things for you / I am a good thing and I promise you got me / And I would go anywhere with you.” De Souza’s Any Shape You Take reminds the listener that we’re all evolving beings deserving of love and acceptance regardless of where we are in life or the shape we take.
For more information on Indigo De Souza’s album, upcoming tour, and more, visit indigodesouza.com. For more information on Seth Walker’s album, upcoming tour, and more, visit sethwalker.com.