From the Welsh borders, alt-folk group Sparrowhawks have delighted MIMR and many others with their 3rd Release ‘Cool Your Blood Down’ out last month. It was a joy to get a few words from the band where they shared with us their influences, how the recent release came together and the dangers of bass guitars
MIMR: Hey guys, how would you describe your sound and what influences do you have on you music?
Sparrowhawks: We’ve always struggled to describe our sound because we don’t really fit in any of the standard genre pigeonholes, but we usually go with “alt-folk-pop” as that gives people a rough idea. We’re all fairly obsessed with The Beatles and their approach to vocal harmonies so that has been a huge influence on our sound. Luckily we’ve got 3 vocals that work well together and that gives us a lot of scope to do some interesting stuff. Other big influences would include Fleet Foxes, Radiohead, Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush, The Smiths and The Spice Girls (not joking…).
MIMR: MIMR can’t get enough of your new songs, what was the process involved to produce this record and was it all plain sailing?
Sparrowhawks: We’ve been working with Wrexham-based indie label Drum With Our Hands for this release – for previous releases we’ve done absolutely everything ourselves, so it was nice to have some extra expertise on board. The majority of the record was recorded over 2 very cold evenings in March at Hidden Valley Studios, then we had the usual few months of editing, listening, recording extra bits and planning the release. Mastering was done by Tom Peters at The Grand Studio, which was awesome. No major hiccups.
Sparrowhawks: Yeah, playing new tracks is great as it keeps things interesting after a run of gigs playing the same set. Also, we find that songs can often take on a new life after being gigged for a little while. We’ve got a track on the new EP called “I Might”, which started off as a delicate acoustic track but gradually got darker and heavier as we played it live
MIMR: Do you have any superstitions whilst playing?
Sparrowhawks: No, we don’t really have any superstitions whilst playing, but I (Sophie) do like to be far enough away from Ben so that he doesn’t hit me in the face with his bass.
MIMR: 2014 has been a great year for music. Which bands that you follow would you include on a essential playlist?
Sparrowhawks: I’ll go for a top 5 type situation, no particular order: Midlake, Tune-Yards, The Staves, Foals and our label-pals Baby Brave.
MIMR: What does 2015 hold for Sparrohawks?
Sparrowhawks: We’re going to be doing some gigs in support of our new EP and then get writing again – we’ve got plenty of ideas flying around, so we just need to get cracking. We’d love to do an album at some point, so we’ll be working towards that and some festival dates for the summer.
MIMR: MIMR would like to thank you for taking the time to speak to us. Do you have any shows coming up?
Sparrowhawks: Ta very much 🙂 We’re playing at the FOCUS WALES Winter mixer on Dec 6th at the STIWT near Wrexham and Soph will be doing a solo acoustic set for the DRUM WITH OUR HANDS Winter showcase on Dec 12th at The Compass, Chester.
I’d like to thank Sparrowhawks for chatting with us, I hope to be at the Focus Wales gig they mentioned so rest assured I will have pics from the gig on here and MIMR’s other sites.
Here are the links and other info including how to get hold of their excellent new EP