Red Sparowes: Giving Birth To Imagined Saviors

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From the album The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies The Answer

Red Sparrowes: The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies The AnswerThunderheads storming across the prairie, outraged students taking to the streets, migratory herds stampeding along the tundra–any number of images could describe the grandiose scope of Red Sparowes’ lush vignettes. Wielding both a master’s sense of nuance and an outsider artist’s unhindered expressionist zeal, the Los Angeles quintet created a catalog of haunting and hallucinatory guitar orchestrations over the course of the millennium’s opening decade. With two albums, a string of split releases, multiple U.S. and European tours, and a number of line-up changes under their belt, Red Sparowes are currently poised to release their third album and most impressive creation to date, The Fear is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer.

It’s tempting to describe the collaborative efforts of guitarists Andy Arahood, Bryant Clifford Meyer, Emma Ruth Rundle, bassist/pedal steel player Greg Burns and drummer David Clifford as soundtrack music. The absence of lyrical vocals and full reliance on instrumentation conjures comparisons to symphonic cinema pieces. Yet no composition in the Red Sparowes cannon feels subservient to a visual companion piece. Their music never comes across as a disembodied accompaniment, a partial representation of a larger composition. Every song is its own complete microcosm, a completely realized and contained moment of beauty.

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