London-based indie-pop duo Sparky’s Magic Piano will release their new album, Never Twice the Same Colour, on September 9.
Talking about the album, the duo shares, “This album was inspired by the lives of our friends, our families, even our pets and our fictional friends on TV over the past 3 years. We’ve written about the emotions and upheaval lockdown put us through, but also about the stories of heartbreak, miss-firing love, and abandonment that were still there during the pandemic, unaffected. Musically I wanted it to sound as far away from a home-recorded/produced album as possible – so this meant replacing the synth bass from our first album with real bass, the 808 with sampled live drums, more live guitar, more live violin, cello and a trumpet for good measure!”
Made up of Oli Bartlett (guitar, bass, synths, violin, production), and Marion Bartlett (vocals, Glockenspiel), Sparky’s Magic Piano dropped their debut album, Feel the Beat and Do It Anyway!, in 2007, receiving rave reviews and radio play on 6 Music. They followed with a series of singles and then went on a long break.
Encompassing 11-tracks, highlights on the album include “Tiny Shiny Shoes,” a shimmering pop song topped by the delicious voice of Marion, delicate and velvety, full of alluring tones. Vaguely reminiscent of The Cranberries, this tune hits the sweet spot.
“Last Supper” opens on jangly guitars riding a driving rhythm as Marion’s silky, sighing vocals imbue the lyrics with gentle, whispery textures. “Hanging for the Bang,” rolls out on a walking bassline flowing into a lustrous melody, showcasing the diaphanous timbres of Marion’s crème de la crème voice.
“Someone From There” features dual layers of sound, one darker and throbbing, the other luminous and glittering. The feel and flow of this track are at once light and powerful. Marion’s superb voice gives the lyrics crystalline textures.
A personal favorite because of its dream-pop leitmotifs, “Permanent Pen” glides on opulent washes of color, flavored by Marion’s wonderfully lilting voice.
The final track, “As Good As It Gets,” merges tints of pop with folk, shaping a soft, fine, and beautiful song.
Sparky’s Magic Piano has it going on! Never Twice the Same Colour is grand and should grace many Best Album of the Year lists.