Sparrow and the Workshop – Devil Song (Distiller Records) 25th May 09

April 18, 2009 by  

sparrow

When you hear the words ‘Alt Folk’, usually images of Nordic songstresses and spaced out travellers come to mind. Yet Sparrow and the Workshop’s ‘Devil Song’ sounds more like a John Wayne style showdown at noon, with Nico singing the backing track.

Lead singer Sparrow’s vocals are not only otherworldly, they’re from another era. Stuck somewhere between Nancy Sinatra and The Velvet Underground’s Nico, Sparrow’s voice will take you back to the sixties at its psychedelic best. Her cryptic narrative lyrics intertwine with a spaghetti western tune that canters along at an engrossing pace. The result is a completely original take on a genre which has been stuck within its own musical confines for far too long.

B-side ‘The Cold Hearted Twist’ sees the band depart from the Wild West, and strip away the guitars, leaving all the focus on Sparrow’s voice. Combining the percussion of ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’ with a melody reminiscent of Fiest’s work, the song once again sees the band combine seemingly disparate elements, to produce a compellingly original piece of work.

It’s hard to tell what their future releases will sound like, but with this amount of talent and originality on show, I’m sure they’ll be worth waiting for.

By Chris Cummins

[rating:4.5]


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