I just wanted to share a band with you guys: Sparrow and the Workshop. The band, made up of Jill O’Sullivan (vocals/guitar/violin), Nick Packer (guitar/bass) and Gregor Donaldson (drums/vocals), might be folk but there's certainly nothing traditional about them. They are clearly making music that reminds listeners of another era, yet it never feels dated. Instead, it actually makes it hard to put a finger on what exactly the band sounds like.
Sparrow and the Workshop released their debut album Crystals Fall on April 19th. Ten of the tracks have appeared on previous EPs, but three of them are brand new. I am definitely feeling the new tracks though, what with their boy-girl vocals, slide guitar, and rustic drums. All of the tracks have been reworked and remixed.
I am really loving their track "The Gun" – the tappity-tap of the percussion and the gentle guitar are as simple but lovely. There are a lot of times when the acoustic guitar seems to be doing the job of the rhythm section and the drums have actually take the lead. And the lead singer's voice is amazing - I like how airy it is.
"The Gun" by Sparrow and the Workshop
Crystal Falls is certainly an impressive debut. Sometimes it’s very crunchy folk-rock while sometimes there’s a big country feel. The band's eccentric mix of styles has already won them acclaim from various sources. The Guardian say they are "ethereal and electric", the Sunday Times, Word, Pitchfork have all vouched for their retro-sounding country and bluesy folk sounds which conjures up comparisons to Fleet Foxes, Fairport Convention, and Nancy Sinatra, though O'Sullivan swears "nothing is contrived or planned to sound like anything in particular."