reviewed by Erik Sedore
In the last few weeks, it’s been warm enough to leave my window open overnight. As the pale spring sunlight diffuses into the morning, I’m awakened by the chirruping of the newly returned robins and sparrows, and I smile to myself before even opening my eyes. Then the smile disappears as I remember that I have to get up and go to work. As I trudge through my day, little birds flit around on the branches and buildings around me, and I don’t feel like they envy me, even though I could buy a truckload of birdseed if I wanted.
Wired To The Sky’s debut album Steady Sparrow, Steady Flight dawns with “Work To Live”, an anthem that questions whether it’s really all that sane to work yourself until you don’t know who you are anymore. “Why don’t you just slow down” it asks, “cause when you’re standing in the forest, you should take a look around”. Singer and songwriter Dylan Perkons has a quavery voice, which set into this country-style backing recalls Cassadaga-era Bright Eyes.
The next pair of tracks ruminate on disillusionment, and letting go. “Fast As I Could” finds Perkons leaving Montreal to head out west, and finding his emotions torn between where he is and the people and places he’s left behind. “Walk A Mile” is looking for some empathy, asking “I won’t try and change your mind, but do it all the same”. The track builds to almost gospel-like finale before letting go.
The core of the album tends to take a darker and bluesier tone. The sparse and howling “Meditation Blues” creates a macabre sensation with its references to drinking from poison cups and bloody shirts. The following “Hard Times” is a slight misstep, as its chorus veers a little too close to country-rock cliché, though the band gets in a great blues jam to polish it off.
Late album highlight “Avery” is a direct appeal to “the one I couldn’t help”. It seems like the album’s most personal and emotionally bare song, and to whatever sparrow off in the big blue sky it’s being sung to, its pedal steel and dreamy piano create a warm home to come back to.
“Black Night” and “Fool With A Gun” take the album out with a couple more stormy rock numbers, and end a strong and varied debut.
Steady Sparrow, Steady Flight isn’t out until Friday May 26, but you can check out a couple advance tracks at their Bandcamp.
Top Tracks: “Work To Live”; “Avery”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)