The bands you discover by accident are the best. Last fall I drove 1 1/2 hours to Bryan, TX on a Friday night because I was dying to see Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors a second time. It ended up being one of the most magical shows I’ve seen in a long time.
That magic started when Penny and Sparrow walked on stage and the room full of college kids I was standing in remained dead silent as Andy and Kyle began playing their beautiful, soft music. I didn’t know a single song, but I was entranced.
Since then, Penny and Sparrow has become one of my favorite bands to turn on when I need comfort music – something soft and beautiful that feels like a little musical hug…even if the lyrics are full of sorrow and heartbreak at times.
Today, I want you to get to know this incredible band and then check out their brand new album that was just released last Friday, “Let a Lover Drown You”. (How could you not want to listen to an album with such an intriguing title?)
Meet Penny and Sparrow:
Good Groupie: The beginnings of Penny and Sparrow revolved around a lot of happenstance – you had fun making music and just kept going. How has your band grown over the years?
Andy: In short, steadily. You’re right that we’ve had happenstance play a role in our career. Yet, at the same time, it’s really satisfying to know that (regardless of outcome) we are really proud of how much effort we’ve put forth. There’s no substitute for showing up and working your ass off, and that’s one thing that we try to do in all aspects of our life. We feel we have grown as writers, musicians, husbands, friends and just humans over the past few years. Here’s to hoping that folks who listen to us feel the same and sense that growth.
GG: What experience from being in this band has surprised you most? (response from fans, getting asked to tour with someone you admire?)
Kyle: I love how tight knit and supportive the music community can be. Everyone we’ve gotten to truly know respects and believes in their fellow musician’s work!
Andy: After a dozen or so moments of drinking bourbon and laughing with Ben and John (the team behind this upcoming album), I was overwhelmed by how fortunate I really am in this job. Not only do we get to work with men we admire and whose work we adore, but (crazily enough) they signed up to be our friends.
GG: How do you maintain such a busy touring schedule and find time to create music together?
Andy: We write a ton on the road and when we get home post tour (when it’s crazy tempting to rest on laurels) we try and chip away at music daily. We’ve always been in awe of prolific musicians and hoped we would be in their club, so we have that end game in mind when motivation wears thin. And even when nothing “usable” comes out of a writing session, it’s still a satisfying feeling to have clocked in and worked hard.
GG: Tell me a little bit about “Let a Lover Drown You” – how does this album differ from previous ones? Was there a particular moment or idea that inspired the songs on it – or maybe a thread that ties all the songs together?
This album asks you to honestly grade all the loves of your life. It’s inspired by the feeling we all have that desires good love, and by everything along the way that tries to sabotage us. Including ourselves.
The songs, we hope, will let people taste love that’s worth a damn. And this album might just let folks know when they’re neck deep in a love they need to quit.
GG: Which song are you most excited for people to listen to on “Let a Lover Drown You”?
GG: The thing that struck me when I saw you live was the power two guys with incredible voices and an acoustic guitar held over the room. I didn’t know a single song then, but it was a powerful experience all the same. What do you hope someone takes away from seeing you perform live?
Kyle: I hope they leave having made a lasting connection to the songs the performance. I hope they get what they need.
Andy: What he said – damn Kyle, great answer.