Penny and Sparrow: Tenboom

When I’m at work, my coworker and I listen to a lot of Spotify. Obviously, eight hours a day in the office makes way for a lot of musical intake, especially when a lot of my time is spent staring at the InDesign interface. I got a text from one of my good friends a couple of days ago recommending a band. I know for a fact she has good musical taste, so I didn’t waste any time turning this album on in the office. And let me tell you – it was the most beautiful music I’ve heard from a band I didn’t even know existed. I didn’t have a listen to the whole album at that time – I wanted to wait until I was able to write about it here because believe me, you need to hear this. Here goes Tenboom by Penny and Sparrow.ten

This album, released January 8, begins with the quiet Just and Just As. The song fades in with soft strums of an acoustic guitar, a great way to enter into an album and a world previously untouched. Vocals come in just as softly, and the story telling begins. The vocals are so gorgeous, so full of emotion, that the response is mirrored in my being. When the chorus hits, I almost cried from how gorgeous it is. So come back to my house and I’ll give what they can’t offer. Let’s just lie on the couch and we’ll clean it up together. A mirage of stringed instruments come in, melding together to echo the powerful vocals.

One reason I was initially so struck by the band is the innate storytelling that’s hidden within the songs. I get so lost in music of any genre that can tell me a story while wooing my ear drums and Penny and Sparrow do all of the above. Bones is one of my favorite tracks on the album. It’s beautiful in such a striking way as a story is told over haunting and stark stringed instruments. Right now, everything is coated in ice outside, and this song could be played into the cold night air and would feel right at home. It’s still and quiet, almost fleeting.

The vocals have a robust, deep sense to them while still remaining elegant enough to fit perfectly with the acoustic nature of the music. During A Woman Caught in particular, I found myself turning up the volume time and time again to get all of the sounds in at once. Closing your eyes, you could lose your whole self in this song.

The album winds up in an interesting way with Patience, First and Patience, Please. Patience, First feels a little more emotional and desperate. Patience, Please is a little more subdued and quieter. Both songs are asking (or maybe begging) in different lights to Please come home. They’re handled so differently, one beginning desperate and one beginning delicate and escalating with each passing plea. Having two songs together that are each clocking in with just a minute and a few seconds is an interesting take to wrapping up the album and it leaves me wanting more with the slow fade out.

This album absolutely blew me out of the water. I had never even heard of the band, so I really had no preconceived notions and no idea what I was walking into when I received the text message recommending them. Wow, what a gem, though. You absolutely have to have a listen to this – I don’t care what genre of music you prefer. This is absolutely incredible. Check the band out on Facebook or Twitter – and find this album on Spotify!


Key Tracks
La Reyna (track 8)
Just and Just As (track 1)
Bones (track 6)

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2 thoughts on “Penny and Sparrow: Tenboom

  1. mattneric says:

    I’m so glad you found Penny and Sparrow! They’re from Austin where I live so I’ve known about them for a while, but it’s really awesome to see the exposure they’ve been picking up from their first album which, agreed, is soul-meltingly beautiful. Brothers and Heroes & Monsters get me every time. Here’s my review if you’re interested :)

  2. […] January last year, I wrote a post about a band that I was completely blown away by on first listen. Penny and Sparrow is back with their second album as of […]

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