|My Indigo: Solo project of Within Temptation vocalist Sharon den Adel|
There used to be a time when the words “going solo” was the equivalent of a death sentence for a band; a poison that led to an imminent breakup or major bandmember change that would forever fracture the “classic” lineup. Whenever a singer or key bandmember announced their desire to work on a solo project, fans took it as the beginning of the end, and that their favorite band would soon be no more.
Thankfully, things are no longer this way (why they ever had to be in the first place, I'll never know). While for some bands, a solo project may still hearken these things, these days it seems to be rarer of a case than it was in the ’70s or ’80s. Nowadays, a band can break apart, pursue solo interests or form entirely new bands altogether, then come back together; sometimes even with a renewed sense of purpose, because they were able to do something creatively that could not be fulfilled within a band. Even fan reaction to these side projects are different: many fans now embrace the idea of hearing their favorite musicians in new settings, and the possibilities it opens up for the band once they reconvene to make a new album.
Personally, I like when a favorite artist goes solo, or embarks on a project different than their primary band. It gives me a chance to hear the other sides of their musicianship; to hear what they might have sounded like if they had chosen another musical path. Even if the final result is not something I end up liking, I still appreciate the artistry of it, and respect their need as an artist to create.
That being said, when Within Temptation frontwoman Sharon den Adel announced about 2 weeks ago that she had been working on a solo album, I was very excited. Sharon has one of the most beautiful voices, not just in metal, but overall (this is only my opinion, of course). She has a voice that pierces my heart whenever I hear it—she could sing the phone book, and I would be in tears by the time she got to Mr. Abraham! As Within Temptation has grown as a band, they have incorporated more experimental sounds into their music, therefore it was not surprising that Sharon had a need to express herself musically in ways outside of WT. She has lent her voice to various projects from prog rock to dance music, so I had no doubts that whatever style her solo album was, it would sound great. (This is also why I chose this as Wednesday's feature, and not Friday, because while it does have female vocals, this is not considered metal.)
The project, titled My Indigo (which seems to be the name of the band as well as the album), which is described as “alternative pop”. The first single is also called “My Indigo”, and the video is a conceptual piece—my favorite kind.
The video's concept is quite dark for a song that sounds so upbeat and cheery. It begins with a crime scene, and the separation of a mother and child. Desperately trying to run to her one last time, the young boy manages to grab the bracelet off his mother's wrist before he is taken away, and she is hauled off to jail. As they are each taken to their own separate prisons and begin the painful reality of life without each other, the boy finds comfort in music: an old-school walkman with a mixtape labeled “My Indigo”.
The boy is taken to foster care while his mother is placed behind bars. He finds a friendly hand reach out to him in this strange place, as his mother's bracelet falls out of his bag and is returned to him by a girl bunking next to him. We see shots of the mother and son, each one alone at night, thinking of the other. Restless, the boy wanders into the library, where he finds drawings of some kind of flying machine, his face registering some sort of interest or idea. As he sneaks off to a nearby shed in the middle of the night, he does not see his bunkmate watching him through the window.
As the days go on (seen by the marks on the mother's prison wall), the boy is secretly working in the shed to recreate the flying machine in the pictures. His new friend joins in to help him along. Soon, it becomes a group project, as all the children in the home take part in putting this machine together, everyone sneaking objects out of the house and the school to complete the machine.
Then the boy is caught, and makes a mad dash on his bicycle to reach his machine, which he rides off a cliff. It flies into the air, as he pedals faster away. His mother's bracelet, serving as a charm, suddenly falls off in mid-flight. As he tries to grab it, he loses control and begins to plummet. At the same time, his mother is freed from jail; as she walks out to freedom, she sees a strange flying object falling from the sky. Her mother's instinct somehow tells her that it is her son, and she runs frantically into the woods nearby. As the boy looks around the wreckage, disoriented, he sees a familiar sight, and everything is right again...or is it? You don't expect me to give away the little twist at the end, do you?
For more information on My Indigo, visit the official website.