Sweden. The land of exciting crime fiction, picturesque archipelago and of course, innovative and wonderfully sweet sweet music. I Used To Be A Sparrow are Dick Pettersson and Andrea Caccese and their sophomore album ‘You Are An Empty Artist’ will be released on the 15th of March.
The best way to describe IUTBAS (brevity is our friend) is the wonderful simplicity in which they have produced this record. Indie-electro that just screams The Postal Service, Animal Collective and M83. Swedish music is renowned for its huge variety and here we have another great band to join the fold. You won’t mistake this band for The Knife, Club8, Lykke Li and ahem, Roxette but on the basis of this record they won’t feel like small fry.
We open with ‘Laura’, the first of eleven mesmerizing and festival friendly tracks. There is an extraordinary level of texture and substance on display here. With a friendly, upbeat tempo we are immediately put at ease, ‘Laura’ is a sweet and patient introduction and leads us right into ‘Warpaint On Invisible Children’, a electro heavy effort that deserves a place in the charts, it’s a short, snappy affair that clips and jumps around like the proverbial optimist.
There is a great deal of variety on display here and with ‘Spring Knows Where You Live’ and ‘Skinny Leaves’ we are treated to a pair of poppy, summery tunes that take us all the way to Orange County on a beautiful, sunny day. Indie-pop nirvana to say the least. ‘I’ve Got The Feeling We Are Not In Kansas Anymore’ brings us back to reality with a slightly funereal tone that highlights the personal nature of the songs. The track segues nicely into ‘Cannonball’, a song that describes the perils of loneliness and the leap of faith that sometimes need to take with regards to falling in love.
This is the section where the album loses a bit of momentum and we become stuck in a little cycle of tracks that don’t offer any real substance. ‘Submarine’ and ‘On/Off’ feel a little like filler, they click all the necessary boxes but they don’t invoke any of the feelings that surfaced with the likes of ‘laura, warpaint or skinny leaves’. We are straight back on the horse the final duo of songs. ‘Blindfolded’ brings more weight into the fold with a stellar guitars and vocals throughout. ‘July’ reminds us of the emotion these guys are capable of summoning with a sweetly sung, effortlessly beautiful track that encompasses clever lyrics, and quality production.
You Are An Empty Artist is not without its flaws. After the first few tracks, the album does become a little homogenous, however, this is quickly forgotten and forgiven by the conclusion. I Used To Be A Sparrow possess a real knack for heartfelt and consumer friendly songs and the number of epic tracks on display easily outnumber the weaker efforts on display here.
◀ STANDOUT ⁞ Warpaint on Invisible Children ▶
◀ SOUNDS LIKE ⁞ Death Cab For Cutie ▶