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Sparrow Steeple

Language available : english
Crafting their own distinctive brand of lo-fi psychedelic indie rock with strong elements of folk and progressive rock, Sparrow Steeple are a playfully chaotic outfit whose music is built around the push and pull of a handful of instrumentalists traveling in similar but parallel directions. Boasting bright but angular melodies, layers of instrumentation that don't always mesh but create challenging textures, and vocals that suggest a mannered bargain-store version of Bryan Ferry, Sparrow Steeple started as a gritty and shambolic lo-fi indie rock outfit on 2008's Rangefinder, and it appeared to be a one-off until a new edition of the band returned to action with 2015's SteEPle Twö, which debuted the more eclectic and playful sound that would become their calling card, reaching its apex on 2019's Tin Top Sorcerer. Sparrow Steeple began life as an offshoot of the Philadelphia-based lo-fi band Strapping Fieldhands, founded by Fieldhands drummer and percussionist Jeff Werner, and visual artist Barry Goldberg on vocal, guitar, and percussion. The group later welcomed guitarist Bob Mallow to the lineup. The first release from Sparrow Steeple was an album, 2008's Rangefinder, released on the Fieldhands' own Omphalos Records label. Rangefinder was a low-key CD-R release, and it wasn't until 2015 that a second Sparrow Steeple release appeared, SteEPle Twö, an EP that found the band making significant personnel changes. Mallow had dropped out of the group, and joining Werner and Goldberg were Fieldhands' alumni Jacy Webster (guitar and keyboards) and Bob Dickie (bass and cello), keyboard player Dustin Burrows, and Harmonica Dan (aka Dan Bacler) on harmonica. With their new lineup, Sparrow Steeple became newly prolific, and in January 2017, they released a full-length album, Steeple Two, through the independent Richie Records label. The EP A Aardvark followed in November 2017 from Ever/Never, and a handful of digital singles appeared in 2017 and 2018. Sparrow Steeple was back in April 2019 with their third album, Tin Top Sorcerer, their first for the Chicago-based Trouble in Mind Records.
© Mark Deming /TiVo
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