The Lovely Sparrows

Shake the Shadow (Abandoned Love)

Texas Platters

Long-awaited successor to 2008 debut Bury the Cynics, the Lovely Sparrows' Shake the Shadow seems preoccupied with authenticity – and a fear of succumbing to numbness and normalcy. The locals' return builds on multi-instrumentalist Shawn Jones' playful instrumental intricacies and cerebral lyrics, quiet croon longing above acoustic guitar and synths in a melding of indie-rock and folk that's imbued with a sleepy surrealism not unlike that of the Shins' James Mercer. Both "Reclusive Animals" and "Patience Eagle" feel fixated on the supernatural, and "Languages Were Lost" rails against the prospect of suburban stagnation in Jones' lamentation: "Shopping malls and haircuts are all we have to look forward to." The unexpected "Lonely Magic" offers an abrupt and cavernous interlude of synths, a quick 52 seconds of spacey quiet before the wavering, sax-heavy "Gardener." The knotted "A Light," music growing more knotted as it peters out, holds the album's key: "If it's artificial, baby, let it die."

***.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Lovely Sparrows
Is Lockhart the Live Music Suburb of the World?
Is Lockhart the Live Music Suburb of the World?
A growing wave of musical expats heads south

Doug Freeman, Sept. 9, 2016

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Libby Webster
ACL Live Review: Nilüfer Yanya
Nilüfer Yanya
English singer-guitarist animates acclaimed Miss Universe

Oct. 7, 2019

ACL Live Review: Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish
Superstar teen proves she should’ve been a headliner

Oct. 6, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Lovely Sparrows

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle