From Wellingtonian outfit Eb & Sparrow is a honeyed, smokey, foot tappin' treat for the ears. Led by Ebony Lamb, the five-piece lay down whole-hearted, deep-hued, visceral tales in the Americana-country-folk-blues vein, with such beautiful warmth and fragility you're hooked from the first glide of lap steel to the last soaring, vocal phrase.
With a voice that slides between the husky depth of Cat Power (Kimbolton, Loaded Gun) and the lilting twang of Gillian Welch (Liberator), Lamb has a captivating vulnerability as she dives into personal triumphs, tragedies, and ironies.
She morphs into an old time jazz singer on tracks like Mighty Wind and taps into a dreamy blues style on The Sun. But it's the songwriting and eclectic arrangements that make this stand out.
The electric guitar (played in turn by by Chris Winter, Jason Johnson and Bryn Heveldt) is a perfect counterpart to Lamb's voice, and the tasteful trumpet, strings, and lapsteel, give the songs a grand, cinematic atmosphere — Mother Mary is a dark, swooning, swollen-grey-sky affair, rich with anticipation; closing track Little Hands has a simple tone which is so perfectly pitched it tugs right at the heartstrings without feeling overly saccharine. They may not be reinventing the Americana wheel but they're certainly showcasing its best qualities.
Eb and Sparrow
Whole-hearted, deep-hued Americana.