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sparrow and the workshop release their new album 'spitting daggers' through distiller records. the album was produced and mixed at the new recording studio, the distillery, by leo abrahams (brian eno / sam amidon). jill's voice has developed into a powerhouse of flexibility, allowing her to soar from keening sandy denny-esque tones to sensual peaks you're more likely to expect from pj harvey. with gregor providing vocal harmonies alongside drumming and percussion duties, and nick playing guitar and bass and an instrument combining the two affectionately referred to as the 'basstard', they have matured into a truly astonishing outfit. the band wrote the album between tours in the latter half of 2010 (incidentally, both gregor and nick learned to play the trombone and tenor horn in the weeks leading up to its recording). both instruments feature on the wonderfully titled song, 'our lady of the potatoes', (which was inspired by a historical novel of the same name by duncan sprott- it's a tale of louis xv' 14 year old irish mistress). other highlights include album opener 'pact to stay cold', the aggressively battle-tinged 'you don't trust anyone', 'snakes in the grass' and 'soft sound of your voice', the eerily confessional album closer. there is something gloriously new about the way sparrow flit effortlessly between innocent simplicity and dark complexity, from ethereal softness to fearless post-rock crescendos at the drop of a hat. while they have been compared to bands as varied as jefferson airplane, talking heads and black sabbath, this is an album truly of their own making.
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