There’s been a succession of over-dramatic pop in recent years. You know the kind, it’s often belted out on stage by the likes of Florence & The Machine, Cocknbullkid, Marina & The Diamonds, Oh Land, the list goes on. The thing is, they’re all female…until now.
Sparkadia are a band that have shared a fair few issues (except for addressing the fact that their name would better suit a high street fashion store), since their inception a number of years ago, but they’re making something of a charming comeback and it’s got the blogs rather hot under their virtual collars. They released their debut album, ‘Postcards‘, through Ark Recordings a couple of years ago, but have since separated the band up, leaving only one man remaining under the Sparkadia moniker, singer Alex Burnett.
Originally from Sydney, but now living in London, the solo artist has re-emerged with a handful of magical pop carvings. Although the debut had a couple of excellent highlights, he’s now thankfully replaced the rather predictable indie pop with something altogether more rounded and interesting.
‘Talking Like I’m Falling Downstairs‘ has a matured sound, with vocals that remind you of Alec Ounswrth, from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The tune ebbs and flows like a stream of silk, with plenty of pretty moments, coming across like the sort of tidy track that Maroon Five would surely love to have written. The ‘Dreamtrak Diamond Sound Remix‘ feels like it’s been done by Yazz & The Plastic Population, giving it an endearing 80s charm, whilst still maintaining the original’s best bits.
The stand out track so far has to be ‘Mary‘, the limited edition lead single that arrives from the superb Gold Dust label. Produced by Mark Teiku, (Florence & The Machine, the Cocknbullkid), who gets the dramatics in full swing. It feels like it’s part Broadway and part thumping pop sensation. Heartfelt, but always pounding, it was perfectly written to close any show.
A quick tour around the UK is planned for February, taking in Birmingham (4th), Oxford (10th), Bath (18th) and Sheffield (25th), with two dates set for London, including the single launch party at Gold Dust’s legendary night at The Hoxton Bar And Grill (16th), as well as supporting Recommender favourites, Alex Winston as part of the NME Awards show (21st). The single is due out on February 14th – surely a perfect gift for any Valentine, right? We’ve heard rumours that the full album is out on March 18th, so we will keep you informed if we hear those rumours turn to fact.
It’s so great to see this kind of showing-off pop done with such fervor by a male artist, without them seeming too wet or frilly. There’s a few others trying it, such as the exciting Penguin Prison, but there’s so much authentic strength found with Sparkadia that we think he has every chance to be the next big male pop star with his second shot. (MB)
SPARKADIA – MARY
SPARKADIA – TALKING LIKE I’M FALLING DOWNSTAIRS