Singles going steady 11: Beachwood Sparks

Friday, 19 October 2007, 12:49 | Category : Uncategorized
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It’s been a while since I visited the mouldering rack containing my CD singles, so I’m returning to it today to bring you Beachwood Sparks.

This band haven’t officially split, but there’s been not much activity since 2002, when they released the Make the Robot Cowboys Cry EP. My single however comes from the previous year, and is a cracking little 4-track EP of wonderfully dusty country rock, which finds Beachwood Sparks clearly revelling in their love of Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers. More surprise then that the lead track is actually a cover of a Sade song – By Your Side, from her 2000 album Lovers Rock.

Now there’s always been a real connection between country and soul music which may not always be obvious, but it’s rarely been so well done than here. The original’s a fine tune in itself, but the LA band really makes it their own and this may even be the definitive version of the song. The other three tunes on the EP (including a cover of 60s folk singer Eric Andersen’s Close the Door Lightly When You Go) are none too shabby either.

All of which makes me wonder why I never bought any more Beachwood Sparks records. I did see them live at The Spitz around the time when the EP was out, and was surprisingly unimpressed, so maybe that’s a factor. They have two albums – a self-titled debut (2000) and Once We Were Trees (2001). Maybe I should check them out. In the meantime, enjoy these tracks, and if you’re interested in finding out more about the band, there’s a lovingly maintained fansite which can keep you up to date with the movements of the various members.

Download: Beachwood Sparks – By Your Side
Download: Beachwood Sparks – Quietly Be

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