BEHIND THE TIMES: Sparky Deathcap

Just to let you know, I am completely and utterly transfixed by Sparky Deathcap‘s Tear Jerky EP at the moment. I know that it came out in 2009, but I missed it altogether at release for some reason.

Sparky Deathcap (also known as Rob Taylor) toured extensively with Los Campesinos! before actually becoming a permanent member of the band in 2010, but before that (and during) he creates serene folk-pop. The style varies widely on the EP, with violin reminiscent of Owen Pallett, and a plethora of early Patrick Wolf influences.

What grabbed me from the offset was the fact that all of the tracks on the record were so diverse, each one had a distinct atmosphere about them; from fast-paced closer ‘Send it to Oslo‘, to Sufjan Stevens influenced ‘September‘. This constant change of tone stops the EP ever feeling old, or same-y. With an 18 minute running time, there’s very little chance of that happening anyway.

 Lyrically, the EP conquers themes of travelling, break-ups and loneliness in a fashion that’s quite typical of a 20-something indie-folk type. But Sparky has something special about him, there’s a sense of bleak coldness surrounding the record that he somehow manages to make endearing.

The highlight for me is definitely Winter City Ghosts. It mixes a hypnotic drum beat with Wind in the Wires­-esque guitar work with austere lyrics such as ‘I’m not fooling you / I don’t know anyone in this city / I don’t know you / And you don’t really know me‘ making this song almost an addiction for me.

Sparky Deathcap supposedly has a lot more musical output under his sleeve, hopefully a full-length should be arriving in the next 12 months or so. I, for one, can’t wait. He is also an accomplished illustrator, including designing everything to do with the Hello Sadness singles and artwork. Check out his site that he updates every other day with witty single-frame comics.

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