Late in the liner notes of this, the first in a series of EPs with seasonal themes, Sparrow House mastermind Jared Van Fleet assures listeners his future output will not completely mirror the texture of his current release: “No, they’re not all bitter love songs with doubled vocals.” After absorbing the six intricate and captivating tracks on Falls, one wonders why, no matter the season, Van Fleet would dare tamper with such a good thing. Drawing inspiration from artists like Iron & Wine and Elliott Smith, Van Fleet (also the keyboardist/guitarist for buzz-worthy Austin band Voxtrot) displays a gift for songcraft, coupling mellow folk textures with more intricate sonic elements. Be it the pensive instrumental outro that closes “Heart Flood”, the entangling of sonorous horns and unembellished guitar on the all too brief “Last Fall”, or the contemplative vocals he offers throughout the record, Van Fleet identifies and employs the musical touches necessary to achieve an autumnal atmosphere. While Voxtrot may be the vehicle that eventually makes him a rock star, Van Fleet’s work as Sparrow House proves his considerable merit as an individual songwriter and artist.
// Notes from the Road
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