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Sparrow - However Did The Wolf Get In (Review)

Sparrow, However Did The Wolf Get In

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

BRIGHTON four-piece Sparrow seem to specialise in minimalist music married to tight melodies and vaguely shoe-gaze tendencies.

Having garnered critical acclaim for their debut album, Playtime, they now return with However Did The Wolf Get In and look set to repeat the trick.

Admittedly, some of their music is a little too stripped back and ghost-like for all tastes, particularly mainstream. But there’s no denying there’s both a child-like innocence and a serene beauty at play here, especially during the album’s best moments.

And they do occasionally throw in the odd boisterous track such as Move, which picks up the pace, comes over all infectious and poppy and utilises a heavy bassline, pleasing boy/girl harmonies as well as that sense of fragility.

Earlier on, the fragility is underlined on album opener and former single Beautiful, which speaks of silver bullets and other ethereal ingredients, over a dream-like set of vocals from Marina.

That same keen sense of imagery-strewn lyricism is evident on the mid-tempo The Spider, a track that captures the essence of The Cure (circa Lullaby) while maintaining an instrumental identity that is distinctly Sparrow’s own. It’s a spellbinding song in a lot of ways.

There’s a nice change of emphasis on Better, too, when Ali’s vocals take centre-stage, replacing female lead with male lead to pleasing, laidback effect. The sense of calm is maintained vocally, even as the instrumentals slow build to a rousing rock finale.

Listen out, too, for Wolf (another of the tender, imagery-strewn moments), the driving style of Aces and the sharp melodicism and harmonising of Lullaby, which again underlines Sparrow’s ability to layer in the sounds and hypnotise.

Put together, However Did The Wolf Get In is a quiet charmer of an album that’s also capable of giving rise to some rousing moments. Sparrow’s career trajectory continues to be on the rise.

Watch the video for Move:

Download picks: Beautiful, The Spider, Better, Move

Track listing:

  1. Beautiful
  2. Black Leaves
  3. Don’t Look Down
  4. Move
  5. Andy Coulson
  6. The Spider
  7. Better
  8. Wolf
  9. Aces
  10. Lullaby
  11. Theology