Penny & Sparrow

Sold Out: Penny & Sparrow

Lowland Hum

Tue · October 24, 2017

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$15.00 - $55.00

Penny & Sparrow
Penny & Sparrow
There are things that we ought to be afraid of. Things that, rightfully, send cold sweat nightmares. For kids it can be anything from the darkness under a bed, or strangers, or crossing a busy street. For adults it might change face a bit and become things like sickness, job security, or heartbreak. And sometimes, when you point the flashlight right at the thing you’re terrified of, you declaw it. You take its mask off and it returns to being an empty, boring closet with nothing inside to harm you. Or maybe the light shows an unexpected beauty in the place of what you thought was horrific. Other times, though, you aim the beam straight into the pitch black and the thing that you prayed wasn’t real, the one with all the teeth, is right there smiling at you.

Texas born duo Penny and Sparrow know these things, and in their 2017 release Wendigo they turn the lights off on purpose and hunt for what’s really there in the dark. With a musical maturity that has been honed over half a decade and hundreds of live shows, Kyle Jahnke and Andy Baxter are presenting their most ambitious album yet. Rejoined by Chris Jacobie (producer and engineer of Creature, Tenboom, Struggle Pretty & Christmas Songs) Penny & Sparrow delve into numerous new and diverse sound landscapes throughout Wendigo, without sacrificing the sharp honesty that’s accompanied their career thus far.

From the quarter kick laden “Salome and Saint Procula”, to the pitched-down vibe of “Kin” and all the way to the hypnotically instrumental portion of “There’s a lot of us in here”, it’s obvious that Wendigo is unafraid to be sonically experimental. Thematically, Baxter’s word bank reaches further than on previous albums. From the trilogy of songs humanizing the Grim Reaper (“Visiting” “Smitten” “Moniker”) and cascading down to the Urban Legend love song “Wendigo”, the intersection of daily grit and supernatural fable is analyzed in depth. On the back half of the record, Jahnke’s melodic leadership extends even deeper into beauty and surprise. With seamless track fusion from “A kind of Hunger” to “Let me be Crucial”, Jahnke has invented a 6 song musical terrain that is both complex in its varied offerings and impressive in its execution.

Arriving a year and a half after Let a Lover Drown You, their Muscle Shoals recorded, John Paul White produced last album, Wendigo was born from healing and heat. Having moved to Florence to record in the Single Lock studio, Baxter and Jahnke found themselves with time off in their first boiling Alabama summer. Exhausted from touring and life-weary in general, the duo turned to songwriting for catharsis. A makeshift recording rig was set up in the living room of their shared home and the duo began workshopping song after song. Over the course of that summer, while their wives (and a dog named Gator) bustled around the microphone during sessions, the bones of the record were set. The original plan was to listen to the rough tracks and eventually redo everything cleaner. That desire changed though as they fell in love with the honest sounds of cooking, old door hinges, silverware clinking, and the rest of their Alabama home noise. As affection for the demo’s grew, Baxter and Jahnke realized that they wanted to keep as much of them as possible. Thus, listening to Wendigo is hearing the honest soundtrack for a real season in the life of two families. The footsteps, the creaking and the din of supper prep heard throughout the songs all reinforce the sense of integrity that has long been a staple of the band. Releasing on August 25, 2017, Wendigo will be Penny and Sparrow’s 5th full-length album. Beginning as therapeutic demos in northern Alabama and ending as a fully realized project at Jacobie’s home studio in San Antonio,TX, this record leaves the duo smirking and feeling accomplished.

The creature with which this album shares its name is a shape shifter. One moment it looks completely normal and the next it’s all fangs and gore. In an instant it can slip it’s skin and go back and forth from ominous and ugly to hope and lovely. Life can be like that. Hell, we can be like that. Knowing this, Penny and Sparrow offer Wendigo as the flashlight you can arm yourself with. Use it to see what’s worth fearing and what was actually beautiful all along. Shine it into whatever patch of darkness scares you. For better or worse, at least you’ll know what’s there.
Lowland Hum
Lowland Hum
Lowland Hum is wife and husband team Lauren and Daniel Goans. Together they invite their listeners to share in the space of vulnerable intimacy they have formed over years of steady collaboration. In the live setting, the duo offers an immersive experience of thoughtful songcraft interspersed with audience interaction and extemporaneous songs about the day's happenings. Their recordings take listeners on a journey through relatable, imagistic poetry exploring themes of memory, longing, confession and identity, and drawing attention to often unnoticed resonances of the everyday.

Daniel and Lauren are a prolific, two-person creative factory basing their operation in Charlottesville, Virginia. They write, arrange and produce all of their own music, and have honed a cohesive design aesthetic to match the hushed simplicity of their sound.

The duo's beginning starts with Daniel, a songwriter, performer and producer from North Carolina. Daniel and Lauren’s creative worlds first collided one hot, Greensboro summer in 2010 when Daniel asked Lauren to design the album art for a solo record he was working on. Having once heard Lauren singing to herself at a party, he eventually coaxed her into singing some harmonies on that same album. This was Lauren's first experience with recording. Previously, her performance experience consisted of her middle and high school chorus classes, which, in her own words, provided her with a strong connection to melody and harmony in a context that was well-suited to her shy disposition.

Initially, Lauren performed with Daniel, singing harmonies on songs he had written, but within a year or so, the two began cowriting and arranging virtually all of the material together. Lowland Hum formed officially in 2012, a few months after the two were married and their collaboration deepened. In the years following the release of their critically acclaimed debut Native Air (2013), the duo has tirelessly toured the country, spending more time on the road than at home. In 2014 they followed up their debut with Four Sisters, a conceptual EP and video series, and then, in 2015, they released their eponymous sophomore full-length album, garnering a slew of praise, including an NPR First Listen. Lowland Hum has performed in diverse settings all over the country ranging from folk festivals, art museums and theaters to living rooms and gardens. During their time off the road, Daniel produces albums for other bands.

Lauren's background in visual art asserts itself in the duo's collaboration significantly. She has created all of the band's artwork and design as well as several transportable installation pieces that served as additions to the band’s live performances. She is also responsible for an impressive collection of music videos often using found footage from public domain archives. Over the years, Lauren has designed five editions of handmade lyric books that the duo passes out to audiences so they can read along and interact more deeply with the lyrical content of their songs if they so choose.

Lowland Hum's songs have been described as poetic and evocative, and their arrangements minimal, hushed and dynamic. They continue to attract a growing body of listeners around the world. Daniel and Lauren spent the summer of 2016 creating their third full-length album in a friend's attic. The album, Thin, came out on February 10, 2017, and is their "deepest collaboration to date" according to the band. They completed a nationwide headline tour, sharing the stage with the likes of Josh Ritter, Jesca Hoop and Penny and Sparrow along the way. After playing a handful of festivals this summer, the band will embark on a nationwide tour supporting Penny and Sparrow in the fall followed directly by a five week European tour.
Venue Information:
The Bartlett
228 W Sprague Ave
Spokane, WA, 99201
http://thebartlettspokane.com/