Review of Mary Album by Sparkadia

Once a Sydney four piece with a fair degree of success, Sparkadia released a well received, and fondly remembered, debut album 'Postcards'. As their success and reputation escalated they toured extensively with the likes of Elbow, Vampire Weekend and The Pet Shop Boys, to name but three. That was 2004-2009 which culminated in a performance at The Big Day Out and the bands unfortunate 'disintegration'. Their frontman and mainstay, Alex Burnett, was not to be deterred by such insignificance's. 'Travelling from Berlin to Stockholm and New York to Los Angeles before settling in East London............... He started working with producer Mark Tieku (Florence And The Machine)' and 'Mary' is the first song to be released as a result of their collaboration.

This is the first release under the Gold Dust label, named after the alternative pop night at The Hoxton Bar & Kitchen (Notable past performers having included Jesse J and Ellie Goulding) and represents the first single taken from Alex's imminent new Sparkadia album, 'The Great Impression'.

Sparkadia Mary Album

If BIG production numbers full of pomp and circumstance with more than a little camp dressing are you bag, 'Mary', may just float your boat. In a Scissor Sisters meets Glee mixed by David Arnold show stopping kinda way the sing-a-long romp is aided by some rather dirty distorted synth notes that chorus in as the mid-term breakdown unleashes an almost twisted take on 'when you go down to the woods today'. Not surprising when Alex explains ..'I like guitar music - rock'n'roll - but I love pop melodies....... And I especially like them to be odd. Oddness is important.'

Alex is in great vocal form as he belts out Mary with reckless abandonment. As a showcase for his new album it's a difficult one to call, he definitely eschews any norms of Ausie behaviour here. Whether The Great Impression will hold more surprises we will have to wait and see............until then you have Mary.

Andrew Lockwood.

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