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Eb & Sparrow - Album Review - Seeing Things

14 Mar 2018 // A review by Corinne Rutherford

Eb & Sparrow could be described as Alternative Country, or as front person Emily Lamb has described it “New Folk”. “The resulting ‘new-folk’ encompasses a huge variety of sounds and genres, with roots in folk, country and Americana”.

As New Zealand Americana gains traction and grows, so has the popularity of Eb & Sparrow, they have become well known for their unique musical style. Seeing Things is written by Emily Lamb and arranged by Eb & Sparrow. The album was recorded amongst the lush textures and presence of the historic homestead Ahiaruhe which is set in the heart of the Wairarapa. Utilising vintage recording equipment and instruments in a large wooden building, the band has gone all out.

The Listener has said “Ebony Lamb’s standing as one of the country’s coolest, most sultry voices” and indeed the first thing that came to mind as I was making my way through Seeing Things, was it is like a long slow sultry dance. Woodsmoke and honey have also been used to describe her voice; I will add luscious velvety caramel into that mix, sweet warm and possibly addictive.
 

I am just going to leave this here, a quote from Simon Sweetman… “This is the sound of your favourite band”. Yes, you read that right.

As I weave my way through this album, feeling thoroughly seduced by their provocative warm sound, I hear stories which go from the sad to the sublime, making up the fabric of the lyrics. There certainly is a rich tapestry of instruments, with a rhythm section, brass section, guitars (electric, bass and lap steel), string sections and added percussion. Everything works together in the most magical of ways.

This album has depth and drama, it is rich and sumptuous.  Echoes of the past which whisper through the halls of the homestead infuse this album with their presence.

A nationwide tour will coincide with the release of Seeing Things, and as the “Supreme sweethearts of New Zealand alt-country”, Eb & Sparrow will capture audiences where ever they play.  

 

★★★★★ (5 stars)


Review written by Corinne Rutherford
 

About Eb & Sparrow

Eb & Sparrow is a genre-defying, five-piece folk band that has been gaining attention across the country from city bars to folk clubs, festivals to house concerts. They have supported Rodriguez, Pokey LaFarge, Beth Orton, Wagons, Delaney Davidson & Marlon Williams, The Warratahs, Anika Moa, Tami Neilson and Aldous Harding.

Eb & Sparrow’s debut album is self-titled, self-released and self-assured. The 10 song collection is built on – but far exceeds – their three preceding EPs as it takes the band’s paradoxically woven nature to new heights. These songs are proudly soaring and grounded, dark and bright, dreamy and direct, country and Spanish, 1850s and 1950s, delicate and propulsive, all the while lamenting and laughing.

“We cast aching crescendoes of a time long gone, into a modern landscape” says singer and songwriter Ebony Lamb. Her impressionistic lyrics are imbued with a simple strength that comes from both heart and heartache. Her voice is unique – a cross between Cat Power and Gillian Welch and seems to resurrect an old-time soul into the here and now.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Eb & Sparrow

Releases

Seeing Things
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Sun/Son
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Eb & Sparrow
Year: 2014
Type: Album
The Moorings
Year: 2013
Type: EP
Not For Light Years
Year: 2011
Type: EP
The Hearts Arrow
Year: 2010
Type: EP

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