Review: I Used To Be A Sparrow – You Are An Empty Artist

After being introduced to the music of an artist named Songs For The Sleepwalkers, it was intriguing to know which path the artist would take next. This is because the man behind the avatar, Andrea Caccese, dispensed epic, uplifting pop, indie folk and abstract instrumental music all on the same album. I Used To Be A Sparrow is his most recent outlet where he is joined by Swedish friend, Dick Petterson.

I Used To Be A Sparrow Album Cover

A contribution to a Postal Service covers album is the biggest clue to where I Used To Be A Sparrow are positioned and ‘You Are An Empty Artist’ is full of tune-encrusted, electronically-infused indie rock with yearning vocals. The beat-heavy ‘Warpaint On Invisible Children’, is the first indication of what’s to come. ‘Spring Knows Where You Live’ is based on a catchy grunge pop riff; Caccese’s vocals effortlessly swooping and soaring between low and high notes. ‘Cannonball’ is another infectious sugar rush of a pop song; bolstered by a relentless chorus, as is ‘On/Off’ which bears strong similarities to the work of Canisius. Indeed, only the last track, ‘July’, shows signs of a break from the energetic nature of the record as its relatively solemn melody brings events to an unexpectedly bleak end.

By the end of the record the constant dreampop formula of ringing guitars, Caccese’s irrepressible chirpiness and driving bass can get a little wearing so it feels like you’re being suffocated by the sweet melodies. Therefore a little more space and reflection would be hoped for on their next album. However, when they’re on their game, the songs this duo produce are genuinely uplifting.

Web Sites:
I Used To Be A Sparrow Tumblr
I Used To Be A Sparrow Bandcamp

Further Listening:
Postal Service, Death Cab For Cutie, Canisius


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