Penny & Sparrow's Wendigo Tour

Penny & Sparrow's Wendigo Tour

Lowland Hum

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

World Cafe Live Philadelphia

$15 + Fees

Mezzanine tickets are subject to a premium service fee that will be applied at checkout.

Penny & Sparrow
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 August 25, 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.
Lowland Hum
Lowland Hum
Shortly after they were wed in 2012, Lauren and Daniel quit their odd jobs and decided to try doing music full time. They devoted their days to singing Daniel’s songs for as many groups of people in as many places as possible. They wrote new songs too, and Lauren stepped into the songwriting process for the first time as Daniel left space for her to discover more of her voice as a writer. They were constantly dreaming up additional ways to combine their creative strengths. An illuminated installation and hand-bound lyric books made their way into the duo’s live performances, incorporating Lauren’s background in visual art. Out of these early collaborations Lowland Hum was born and before the end of their first year of marriage, their debut album, Native Air, was underway.

While recording in the basement of Daniel’s childhood home, Native Air became symbolic to the two of their integration as a couple. Many of the songs explore concepts of identity and were written in a season when Daniel and Lauren were sorting out daily what it looked like to join two lives and two creative minds together. It was a year of discovering how to continue to grow as individuals while maintaining unity. The album was released in the fall of 2013 and to the duo’s surprise and delight, Native Air was met with overwhelming affirmation. Their work was praised for its sincere lyrics, sparse arrangements and haunting harmonies. They spent the tail end of that year and the bulk of 2014 touring relentlessly across the United States, carving out time for recording sessions in between tours. Their EP Four Sisters was released in the fall of 2014 with accompanying videos that Lauren made using public domain home movies.

Now in 2015, coming off the heels of Four Sisters, Lowland Hum is ready to share their sophomore full length release, a self titled collection of songs written during the fast-paced blur of the past year. Though the songs began with one acoustic guitar and two voices, many of them grew in size and scope while the band recorded them at a small studio outside Charlottesville, Virginia. Daniel and Lauren enlisted the help of good friends Edd Kerr, Joseph Dickey and Dan Faust (engineer, bassist and drummer, respectively) to allow the songs the kind of expansion they were hearing in their imaginations. Lowland Hum was released worldwide on April 14 2015. The record debuted as an NPR Music First Listen stream. Following the release of the new album, Lowland Hum hit the road, supported by a rhythm section for the first two months, touring all over the East Coast and Midwest and continuing as a duo for the rest of the year. At the end of 2015, Lowland Hum’s team expanded as they signed with San Diego-based indie label Randm Records and were added to the Concerted Efforts booking roster. The band continues to tour in the first half of 2016 while also writing for their next record.
Venue Information:
World Cafe Live Philadelphia
3025 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
http://philly.worldcafelive.com/