Penny & Sparrow - Finch [LP] | RECORD STORE DAY

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Beginning with 2013's Tenboom, the staunchly DIY pair Penny & Sparrow released a series of critically lauded records that garnered comparisons to the hushed intimacy of Iron & Wine and the adventurous beauty of James Blake, building up a devoted fanbase along the way through relentless touring and word-of-mouth buzz. NPR praised the band s songwriting as a delicate dance between heartache and resolve, while The World Café raved that they ve steadily built a sound as attentive to detail as Simon & Garfunkel and as open to the present day as Bon Iver. Penny & Sparrow's magnificent sixth album Finch is titled as a nod to Charles Darwin, who developed his theory of evolution in part by studying the changes that manifested over time in groups of birds that moved to different islands across the Galapagos, and it's easy to see the connection. The album finds the band reckoning with a prolonged period of intense personal transformation, a profound awakening that altered their perceptions of masculinity, sex, religion, divorce, friendship, vanity, purpose, and, perhaps most importantly, self. Deeply vulnerable and boldly cinematic, the resulting songs blur the lines between indie-folk and alt-pop, with dense string arrangements and atmospheric production underpinning soaring melodies and airtight harmonies. It's a revelatory collection, both for the listener and the performers, one that s been a lifetime in the making.