The Canon, Examined: Beachwood Sparks’ “Beachwood Sparks”

Beachwood Sparks were a strange band. Their self-titled debut merged piping indie-pop voices with Olivia Tremor Control psychadelics and Gram Parsons country with more twang than a guitar soaked in whiskey. The mood changes from song to song: “Desert Sky” is as button-cute as it is wistful and “This Is What It Sounds Like” is pure hippie throwback, but “Silver Morning After” is a ballad that’ll tear at your heartstrings. While the Sparks continued to get more and more hazy and surreal on subsequent recordings, Beachwood Sparks is, in many ways, the fulfillment of what Parsons termed “Cosmic American Music,” complete with the Sub Pop seal of approval.

Beachwood Sparks – “Silver Morning After”: mp3
Beachwood Sparks – “Desert Skies”: mp3

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The Canon, Examined is a continuing series spotlighting the finest records to ever slip through the cracks.