Indigo De Souza’s “You Can Be Mean” Takes Aim at Toxic Relationships

The Asheville singer/songwriter’s new album, All of This Will End, arrives on April 28 via Saddle Creek

Music News Indigo De Souza
Indigo De Souza’s “You Can Be Mean” Takes Aim at Toxic Relationships

2023 has given us much to love, but one of its best virtues has undoubtedly been Indigo De Souza’s reign of songwriting wizardry. It’s going to be an All of This Will End summer, as we all begin tumbling in and out of the throes of wondrous and reckless love. If lead singles “Younger & Dumber” and “Smog” haven’t already convinced you that De Souza’s forthcoming LP is going to be stuck in your ear for months, then perhaps the final single, “You Can Be Mean,” will get you across the finish line.

The three singles De Souza has put out this spring have all been sonically different. The acoustic poetics of “Younger & Dumber” turned into the disco gossamer “Smog.” Now, “You Can Be Mean” is a distorted, woozy rock cut. All of This Will End is De Souza’s strongest embodiment of self-care, reflection and memory. She juggles childhood artifacts with present-day heartbreak throughout much of the tracklist. On “You Can Be Mean,” she takes aim at a brief fling she had with a “manipulative and abusive LA model fuckboy.”

What transpired between them has had, as De Souza calls it, “a life-long impact on my understanding of self.” In turn, the lyrics pull no punches, as she unleashes a call for accountability without letting generational trauma serve as an excuse for someone else’s toxicity. “I’d like to think you got a good heart, and your dad was just an asshole growing up / But I don’t see you trying that hard to be better than he is,” she sings. “You Can Be Mean” is a demand for autonomy and respect.

“Leading up to that experience, I had a history of putting myself in toxic situations and pining for validation from people who treated me poorly. I was stuck in some delusion that I could help abusive people through their trauma and teach them to love me in the way I deserved,” De Souza says. “I wrote this song when I finally realized that I could choose not to allow harmful behavior into my life, and that there is a deep, deep importance in protecting the body and spirit. I stopped caring about validation from assholes, stopped thinking it was my responsibility to help them, and started caring for myself in a real way. Once I made that switch in my psyche, I began to manifest truly loving, safe, kind, and communicative people into my life. Being loved in the way I deserve begins with loving myself in the way I deserve. Boundaries are so important. The body is a sacred and fragile thing and it deserves every ounce of care.”

Check out De Souza’s self-directed music video for “You Can Be Mean” and her upcoming tour dates with Japanese Breakfast, Sylvan Esso and Sluice below.

Indigo De Souza’s upcoming tour dates:
5/13 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court Block Party
5/17 – Madison, WI @ The Majestic ~
5/18 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall ~
5/19 – Detroit, MI @ El Club ~
5/20 – Toronto, ON @ Opera House ~
5/22 – Boston, MA @ The Royale ~
5/23 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer ~
5/24 – New York City, NY @ Webster Hall ~ – SOLD OUT
5/26 – Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom ~ – SOLD OUT
5/27 – Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom ~
5/29 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club ~ – NEW DATE
5/30 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle ~
5/31 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle ~ SOLD OUT
6/2 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West ~
6/3 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel ~
6/2-4 – Chattanooga, TN @ Riverbend Festival
6/10 – Bloomington, IN @ Granfalloon Festival
6/27 – London, UK @ Roundhouse ^
6/29 – Roskilde, DK @ Roskilde Festival
7/1 – Stockholm, SE @ Lollapalooza Stockholm
8/12-13 Seattle, WA @ Day In Day Out Festival
8/14 – Indianapolis, IN @ TCU Amphitheater at West River State Park *
8/15 – Columbus, OH @ KEMBA Live! *
8/17 – St Louis, MO @ The Pageant *
8/18 – Kansas City, MO @ Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland *
8/19 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Armory *
8/24 – Troutdale, OR @ Edgefield *
8/25 – Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre *
8/27 – Bend, OR @ Hayden Homes Amphitheater *
8/30 – Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley *
8/31 – Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre *
9/1 – Del Mar, CA @ The Sound *
9/2 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriet’s *
9/3 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriet’s *
9/6 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brookly Bowl *
9/8 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren *
9/9 – Santa Fe, NM @ Santa Fe Opera *
9/10 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre *
~ support from Sluice
^ supporting Japanese Breakfast
* supporting Sylvan Esso

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