The Lovely Sparrows


Posted by the lovely sparrows on Wednesday, 19 of March , 2008 at 5:01 pm

A brief history of The Lovely Sparrows by Abandoned Love Records‘ Jon Rooney :

Formed in 2005 by singer/songwriter Shawn Jones (Something Happened, Larks & Owls) and longtime friend and collaborator Jason Cooper (Empty Suits, Larks & Owls), The Lovely Sparrows is the culmination of over a decade of slugging it out in the southwestern indie rock circuit. The earliest incarnation of the band, which can be heard on 2005’s self-released Take Your Hats Off You Godless Bastards 7″, reveled in Pavement and Bob Pollard-style laconic fuzz pop.

Their early bash and pop revelry, however, was to be short-lived after a romantic split between Jones and bandmate Meaghan Perry stripped away the band’s fuzzy, upbeat pop leanings. Jones rebuilt the band, embarked on a brief, danger-prone West Coast solo tour, dealt with numerous house floods, and recorded the band’s debut EP in the wake if that breakup. Friends as well as former, current and occasional members of the band contributed their talents to flesh out Pulling up Floors, Pouring on (New) Paint, which was released to small-scale acclaim on upstart label Abandoned Love Records. The EP received positive reviews from the likes of Harp and Paste as well as a host of bloggers and radio stations such as KUT, KVRX, and KSZU. The band showcased at SXSW then embarked on a few short tours of the East Coast and Midwest, recording a Daytrotter session and picking up discerning fans along the way.

Momentum led Jones to pen his most accomplished and ambitious songs to date which have been meticulously fleshed-out and captured on the band’s debut LP, Bury the Cynics. Set for release on July 8th, 2008 by Abandoned Love Records and the Rebel Group, Bury the Cynics marries lyrical pop sensibilities with Jones’ formal musical composition and performance training.

The Lovely Sparrows are a living, pulsing amoeba of a band, deftly able to stage a show with as few as one and as many as seven members. The release of Bury the Cynics will see the band embark on its most extensive touring to date.

Shawn’s notes to Derek about Bury the Cynics:

There are all kinds of imagery in this album, whereas the last one (pulling up floors, pouring on new paint) was a simple “break up” relationship album, this one is more tied into snapshots of memory, old religious icons that you shake off as you get older but somehow still stay with you (the choir like singing in Teenage Viking, and religious iconography in that one and Rene, in particular), and perspective and how it shapes things. How you can never quite get the angle right for someone else’s view, and vice versa. Getting older, questioning your profession, becoming disenchanted but realizing that it is still better that any known alternative. I don’t really want to go back to grad school. What would I study? More music? For the same non-existent paycheck? Botany or psychology? I don’t think I’d pass even the math portion of the GRE without intense studying! No thanks.

The mood is somewhat dark, but I always like to hope that a glimmer of hope, or something positive, is in there somewhere…and if not in each individual song, at least as a whole album. Bittersweet. Ha. I also think there is a lot of humor (albeit dark) in the music, that a lot of critics have failed to see in the lyrics.

There’s also some children’s fairytale imagery mixed in, the Little Prince being one of the more obvious ones, taming of foxes, flowers, etc. Some French fairy tales, Renard and Hermaline. Some Norse mythology. Some magical realism, Spanish literature, Borges, Eco, etc.

Our manager, Ben, has said that he was drawn into all the imagery of the plains (I’m from Oklahoma City, but am an Austin transplant), and there is certainly something to be said for that. The plains have always meant several things to me. One being a reminder that there is no distraction from yourself, no buffer, no entertainment, leaving you to expansive thoughts that most people choose not to confront. There’s also a contrasting symbol of hope, in that you can see for miles (a metaphor for a plan?), and the sense of possibilities of where to go seem boundless, (or overwhelming). Choices to make. The plains are barren and take patience to cultivate. This is a way I personally like to approach music. I am a patient listener, and in turn, probably make music for similar ears.

Comments (2)



[…] their neat history here, and listen to the song I’m digging below. They’ve been around for 3 years; […]

Pingback by The Lovely Sparrows at SXSW 2011 | Ball of Wax Audio Quarterly

Made Monday, 14 of March , 2011 at 10:43 am

[…] of conscience.  Not only did I release their debut EP and LP on my little label, I also wrote the band’s bio, so any attempt at a “review” would be bad juju on my part.  I met and started working with […]

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