Penny & Sparrow
777 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA, 94110
Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:30 PM
This event is all ages
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 September 1, 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.
“Sincerity, community and beauty is how I think of Lowland Hum; the sounds of Lauren and Daniel Goans. Thin is the husband and wife duo’s third album since their 2013 debut, further refining their hushed harmonies and aural paintings. It’s a sound that makes them a quiet Sunday-morning favorite.” – Bob Boilen, NPR Music
“In this frantic, fast food, Facebook world, Lowland Hum draws us into a sanctuary where we can really feel, and dare to be human, with all the naked vulnerability that implies. Thin is majestic in its simplicity, elegant in its honesty.” – Joseph McSpadden, No Depression
“Their vocal harmonies are airtight and sweet, their songs shadowy but bolstered by hope and by a shared vision.”
– Matthew Fiander, Pop Matters
Lowland Hum is an art-folk band based in Charlottesville, Virginia, made up of husband/wife team Daniel and Lauren Goans. In a particularly cacophonous cultural moment, Lowland Hum is a breath of fresh air. The band’s songs have been described as poetic and evocative, and their arrangements minimal, hushed and dynamic. Lowland Hum’s performances are characterized by the vulnerable, intimate space the duo creates and welcomes the audience into. With a loyal fanbase that is steadily growing, Lowland Hum is a band to take note of, especially as they recently released Thin, their third full-length album and support the release with a nationwide headlining US tour in the spring (additional dates supporting Josh Ritter, Jesca Hoop and Penny and Sparrow) and a European tour in the fall. They have toured extensively since the band’s inception in 2012 to support their two full-length albums and one EP. Both their live show and studio releases have garnered critical acclaim from the likes of NPR, the Washington Post, American Songwriter and others.
$18 adv / $22 door / $58 VIP