Sparkadia is the project and musical vision of alternative pop musician and lyrical mastermind Alexander Burnett. The band formed in Sydney in 2004 and were originally known as The Spark. The brainchild of Alex Burnett (vocals, guitar) and Dave Hall (drums), Sparkadia became a reality with the addition of Nick Rabone (bass) and Josephine Ayling (keyboards, guitar, vocals) in 2006. It remained a four-piece ensemble until 2009 when life, as it is wont to do, seemed intent on scattering the four members with other distractions and adventures and Sparkadia boiled down to Alex’s lone wolf project.
Fortunately for the listening public, the departures in no way diminished Sparkadias momentum. The Great Impression, in the opinion of Your Girl In Music, blows 2008′s Postcards out of the water, and stands in a league of its own, much like the bold and brilliant sole remaining permanent member, Alex Burnett himself Introspective yet profoundly accessible, emotive yet structured, sweet yet boldly adventurous, the galloping power-pop nature of Postcards has been refined and shifted to a intricately grandiose sound that, while it still gallops, ultimately better suits Burnetts affected choirboy voice.
Fans who don’t take issue with their favorite artists evolving will embrace the new maturity of Alex’s songwriting and the wry complexity in his lyrics and music making. The title track “The Great Impression” sets the scene, perfectly introducing the grander scale of the overall album. “Talking Like I’m Falling Downstairs,” evokes the crackle and warmth of a needle falling onto a record. “Hurt Me” and “Ghost” pare back and catch you up immediately in their foot-tapping, need-to-sing-along-the first time, treatment on the all-too-familiar lovelorn subject matter. Other tracks borrow from 80′s pop, like “The Lost Ones” or “China” the latter’s tension building chorus seems to recollect the Smiths and Morrissey’s earliest solo work.
Another track, “Mary,” attests that Sparkadia’s musical aesthetic take on the twisted emotions of a story-telling soul is a sorely needed sound in today’s sonic scape. The single “Mary” is a debut release from the Gold Dust label, which shares its name with the influential alternative pop night at Hoxton Bar and Kitchen. Gold Dust saw early performances from the likes of Jessie J, Guillemots and Ellie Goulding. Listen to the single “Mary” below or purchase Sparkadia’s full-length debut “The Great Impression” from JB Hi-FI.
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