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Epic Review of The Big Heavy from

This is fun! The Big Heavy just got quite a favorable review from Sleepingbagstudios. Check this out:

It’s a sad yet perfect day to discuss the music of Dave Wirth…so that’s what I’m going with today.  If you’re Canadian…if you’re a fan of The Tragically Hip or if you’ve been lucky enough to hear any of the poetic words from the mind/mouth of Gord Downie…today has been a tough, tough day.  A true ambassador & champion of creativity and expression is no longer with us…and it’s just fuckin’ sad man; it’s been hard enough to navigate through the shock today, let alone write anything at all.  I did the standard tour through The Hip’s catalog and exhausted my tears as best I could…and then I suppose I did what I naturally always do in times of emotional-need – I searched for music that would help me through it all.  This entire day has been ‘The Big Heavy’…but as it turned out, The Big Heavy was also what began to pull me out of the despair of the day’s events and shine a light on a path to a way out.
So thank-you Dave…I’ve been saving this record for a day when I needed it most…and today is that day.
It’s more than just a suitable narrative by the way.  Downie was misunderstood by many for the somewhat bizarre approach he found in the melodies he wrote…Dave has some of that same artistic courage in his writing that creates a tangible strangeness in the beauty of the music.  Also much like Downie, Wirth can be intensely poetic…and after the release of the instrumental record Flutters earlier this year – it’s awesome to hear him back at the microphone with his unique approach combining highly vibrant imagery in his lyrics with genuinely soulful expressions that give the words weight through the way he sings them.  Is everyone going to ‘get it?’  Maybe…maybe not.  I’ve been down this road with Dave’s music before…my ears are absolutely convinced that he makes truly stunning, gorgeous music from the heart that completely connects…but I’ve also encountered contrasting opinions due to the amount of artistic expression he’s put into his music before.  Some people dig their music to be different – some don’t…doesn’t make anything bad or good, it just is what it is and we all hear things the way we hear them.  Even a band like The Tragically Hip can be relegated to just one continent more or less due to those kind of signature sounds and uniqueness…to me, it’ll always be much more important to pursue your art as you see it, no matter where you end up or how far it takes you…be true to yourself.
After listening to Dave’s music for several years now, I feel like he’s always stayed true to himself.  Years back, in his old band Sprightly Moans, he wrote one of my favorite tracks from the indie-scene still to this very day, a song called “Love Is Nothing Without Eternity” that showed a much different side of his music…a side that sounds much closer to this new EP, The Big Heavy.  Certainly makes me happy…there’s a real comforting sound in Dave’s vocals that’s organic and real as it gets; he takes chances in how he expresses himself that way, but with a more refined approach now in his current work – it’s all paying off in the results.  I’ll advocate on behalf of “Love Is Nothing Without Eternity” until I’m dead and gone…but I also can’t deny that Dave has certainly upped his game when it comes to his confidence, production and performance on these new tunes from The Big Heavy.  What makes it exceptionally interesting to listen to is the fact that he’s put out a two-song EP with vocals after so long without…alluding to the fact behind the scenes that something about these songs needed to come out, perhaps if only to break the walls down to allow the rest to continue afterwards, I’m not entirely sure…but I’ve certainly been there.  Sometimes it’s best to cut the cord before you potentially take an idea too far, or again, just to be able to separate one project from the next, say what you need to say, and move forward from there.  Whatever his reasoning was…he nailed it; these two songs truly shine together and are a brilliant return to the microphone for an artist that truly belongs in front of it.
I’m not entirely sure which order these came out in…so I’m writing this in the order that I’ve heard’em, which I’d imagine is likely how it ended up.  I started with “Eyelids And Oil” and was instantly hooked; knowing where he’s come from in his past music, I knew immediately he was heading into a style and sound that truly works in his favor.  Again – Dave’s upped his game significantly from anything you’ve heard in the past through the amount of layering and work he’s put into this material…so while it might have a few sonic comparisons to what you know from his past music that make it comforting, inviting and welcoming to listen to – it’s also evolved into something that’s potentially going to last much longer.  If I had to take a guess as to the inspiration might have been on a musical-level here for “Eyelids And Oil,” I feel like it wouldn’t be a guess at all – there’s an incredible amount of Thom Yorke-like tendencies here…not the Radiohead stuff, the solo stuff…listen and you’ll hear it.  Particularly in the brilliant use of percussion that continually creeps into the mix of “Eyelids And Oil” – it sounds like rain on a hot tin-roof, changing, deepening and strengthening the sound as the rain continues to beat down as the roof begins to cool and changes the tone of each drop.  I obviously can’t vouch for that completely being the intention – but the overall result is bloody brilliant no matter what it reminds you of, it sounds amazing.  Listen to the layering at the very beginning!  It’s so damn subtle it hurts!  Right as the song begins, there are completely awesome things happening in the music that are threaded wonderfully underneath the vocals, and then “Eyelids And Oil” breaks to a simplified sweetness and brilliantly focused performance in the verse.  Punctuated by Dave’s vocals providing the main hooks without words and just allowing the music and melody to guide his singing, he sounds amazing in these moments…the lead is spectacular and the backing layers give it all such amazing personality, character, charisma and charm that by the end when everything is all combined together, Dave’s found himself right in the swirl of a real time-stopping, breath-taking moment in the emotionally intense atmosphere of “Eyelids And Oil.”  The way he makes this song develop, evolve, envelop and surround you is honestly one of the most beautiful moments I’ve experienced in music this year…everything is so immaculately subtle adding up to something so powerful…the progression of “Eyelids And Oil” and Dave’s choices here, the ideas, the execution…I think it led him directly to make the most stunning track I’ve heard from him in years.  Love the music, love the way he sings it – I love everything about it quite honestly…this is Dave at his best in his vocals and certainly in the lyricism…it’s minimalist music with maximum impact and real sincerity.
“Open Mouth, Monstrous Teeth” takes a more traditional approach than perhaps “Eyelids And Oil” does…and I’ll admit it took me longer to get into this one by comparison as well…but by the end of several listens, I was pretty much just as hooked on this tune.  Pretty much!  I’m not going to take anything away from or tarnish the stunning awesomeness of “Eyelids And Oil” by pretending these two are completely neck-and-neck for me…close…but not quite.  “Open Mouth, Monstrous Teeth” has a much more lethargic energy to it…not lazy by any stretch, that’s not what I mean; more like a comfortable droning, like being locked into an emotion, thought or moment in time.  Where “Eyelids And Oil” succeeds most wildly is in how it evolves and takes us on that adventure in sound as it develops, “Open Mouth, Monstrous Teeth” takes the opposite approach by revealing nearly all of its cards at once in that sense.  Completely different approaches in the writing, both songs yield stunning results…just depends on what you’re looking for & what ya wanna listen to as to which method might connect to you more quickly than the other.  I’m still thinking I’m hearing the Yorke influence here on this track…I know that Dave and Thom have different tones, but listen to that mix of sweet haziness in his tone coupled with insightful, descriptive lyricism and try to tell me that there are comparisons to be made!  Beautiful use of the pedal-steel guitar drifting in and out of this mix…the music is almost all complementary here to what Dave’s doing vocally, which is the essential driving force in this entire melody.  “Open Mouth, Monstrous Teeth” is the kind of song you have to hear instrumentally as well to truly appreciate just how much the vocals are bringing to this tune…which is fairly true of “Eyelids And Oil” as well…he does really well inside of a minimalist approach and finds the perfect level for his vocals to stand out just as they should when taking charge of the main melody-lines as they are.  His vocals have truly become an instrument in these new songs on The Big Heavy…and he’s really never sounded better on the microphone.  There’s a beautifully warm glow in the music and sound of “Open Mouth, Monstrous Teeth,” even while he details the melancholy and metaphorical imagery in his words…it’s all oddly comforting, creating a wonderful contrast between the sound of the music and the lyrics that brings about another highly memorable moment in time from Dave’s highly capable musical-mind.  He’s got the uniqueness in his approach and instincts that lead to authentically beautiful results…through songwriting that will truly last and music that always captures the heart & mind with equal strength.
I’ve got more to say about this…so you can expect that I will on the upcoming episode of the SBS Podcast, episode 035 coming out this week…check that out and I’ll tell ya some more details about The Big Heavy from Dave Wirth and play you one of these cuts on the show.
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Flutters Featured on Middle Tennessee Music

Dave Wirth‘s newest album Flutters is a refreshing and much welcome change to the barrage of over-produced, over-packaged and typically over-thought-out music being released (and submitted to us).

A thirty-five minute journey with nothing but Dave and his guitar results in one of the most relaxing and “in-the-moment” records I have heard in quite some time.

For a more in-depth look into Dave and his music, be sure to check out our recent interview.

The visual accompaniment for the single Song For Hawley does an excellent job at setting the tone and giving us a glimpse into what we can expect for the rest of this sonically comforting journey.

Like a soothing Sunday drive or a breezy evening on the front porch, Dave Wirth takes us on a journey through simple, in-the-moment acoustic arrangements.

Consider me a fan!

…it was a surprise, but after like five of these songs were written, the theme of chill-ness became apparent. Just the experience of listening to a piece of music and not necessarily being titillated by it… that seemed like it was how this record decided to present itself… I know there’s people out there who want music to completely overwhelm them, and I am like that too sometimes. This record ended up having the feeling of a super-chill road trip, a lazy afternoon. I was delighted with how it turned out. Very happy.”

I’m delighted as well. Flutters is a great addition to your music collection.

Thanks to for reviewing the album!

Flutters Reviewed (And Quite Favorably) on

Okay, seriously blushing now. I am blown away by this. Still pinching myself...

Read the review here.

A new direction in sound for a musician we’ve heard in the past and reviewed in the pages here at sleepingbagstudios – Dave Wirth, formerly one-half of the duo known as Sprightly Moans is back with an all-instrumental solo-album called Flutters.  Definitely a departure from the music we’ve heard from him in the aforementioned band from before as Dave breaks from the rock sound towards the acoustic here…but also in many ways…perhaps a logical extension of the depth of emotion and atmosphere that was slowly creeping into the music of Sprightly when last we’d heard them on their Demos III EP in 2014.
And that’s certainly okay with me…as many of you readers out there already know, I’m big on melody, sincerity and honesty in the music I listen to – and above all things, I think you get an amazing dose of all three on this new record from Wirth.  These largely innocent & untainted ideas come out sounding incredibly natural & humble in their presentation/recordings; while it’s true that some tracks will rely more heavily upon one or two of the aspects I’ve mentioned…bottom line is, if you’re looking for those same kind of qualities and combinations that I respond to personally – you’ll love this too.
Emotions run deep throughout the record and make themselves known immediately as the lead-single “Song For Hawley” begins to spread its melancholy mix of hopeful sounds.  Right off the bat, Wirth lets the magic of sincerity invade the atmosphere; the guitars we hear are humble and earnest in their approach and the progression from the verse to chorus is indeed a beautiful one.  The impact of this first tune makes a measurable mark in sincerity as it plays…gorgeous final shifts in the chords at the end…almost like improv in the way it’s played there, but even if that’s the case – he found the perfect way to end this first tune and lead it right into the sweetened beginnings of “Graffiti Peace,” the album’s longest cut.
“Graffiti Peace” also has that mix of melancholy emotion in the writing/sound mixed with smart progressions that provide uplifting tones and hopeful vibes in the music we hear.  Pensive, careful & cautious throughout its gentle movements…”Graffiti Peace” sounds like it made Wirth pause and consider life along the way in the recording and that translates to us as listeners.  There are natural pauses and slight hang-ups in some chords that could have gone against him, were it not for the way that this track flows in such an acceptably honest sound.  In a way, these moments actually end up giving strength to what we hear on “Graffiti Peace,” because it’s REAL.  We’re talking seriously slight anyhow…those moments where the chords hang for a millisecond longer in the air…and I’m telling ya…as a listener, they brilliantly communicate the emotion that’s truly being put into the mood and character of the overall idea.  Whether it’s intentional or not, I couldn’t tell you 100% for sure…but if you’ve ever heard a musician say ‘sometimes songs just write themselves’- there’s truth in that.  Sometimes you start a journey in recording with an idea of how it goes from playing & practicing it a million times…and then you get to the studio and the final version becomes something entirely different altogether from the magic in that moment of time.  I loved the way some of these notes would ring & ring and stay involved in the atmosphere & mix.  I felt like “Graffiti Peace” has a lot of that…I bet you could hear Dave play this in numerous different ways and those chords he’s selected would always guide him to the stunning, emotional sound he’s found here on this tune; the kind of song that might not be ‘perfect’ in some ways…for others, it is entirely.
By comparison to the five-plus minutes of “Graffiti Peace,” the following cut “Sassy Flourish” almost passes by in the blink of an eye at less-than two-minutes long.  While it almost does sound more like an interlude and noodling in the classical-end of music somewhat, you can still tell that “Sassy Flourish” is a focused idea and serves the record well to introduce new textures, tones and potential directions early on into the entirety of the listening experience.  In a sense…the interlude feeling is justifiable…”Sassy Flourish is also nestled in the record’s most perceivable tough-spot between the length & humble-beauty of “Graffiti Peace” and what I’d consider to be another serious highlight on Flutters, “Penumbra Nadir.”
The emotion, melody, rhythm and sincerity of “Penumbra Nadir” is stunning to listen to.  Wirth plays Zeppelin-esque chords contained smartly within a folk-style rhythm and makes really clever moves in throughout the song’s structure and transitions.  Absolutely powerful stuff if you ask me…the song has a ton of movement & ideas to cover throughout its four-plus minutes, but the execution is there completely and the thickness of the emotion is truly audible.  As beautiful as it can be haunting – “Penumbra Nadir” was a completely memorable experience for me; I think Dave did a tremendous job of mixing up the sounds we hear from the light to the dark and that the balance of emotion in the music, writing & performance was noteworthy.  Right before/entering the two-minute mark…have a listen…that’s the sound of REAL emotion, passion & their relationship to melody on display right there.
“Two Steps Above” wasn’t really my thing, but I can appreciate it.  You can hear the skill in the musicianship here…and I dig that without question…melody/mood of the song was perhaps just a bit brightened-up for my own personal taste.  Drifting even more towards the folk-side of the album’s sound…it’d be hard to have complaints about a song built on nothing but pleasant sounds really.  Many of the picked-parts from Dave sound seriously impressive…and I dig those too.  If anything, I’d assume it’s that this track is in another tough-spot on the record between the amazing “Penumbra Nadir” and the widely spread-out, impressive sounds of “Paratrooping Dream.”
Because let me tell you…I’d personally LOVE to read what other people might think about “Paratrooping Dream” and whether or not they dig it.  Don’t get me wrong – personally, I freakin’ LOVE this tune myself – but I can totally get how this track might be forgotten or missed by the people out there.  I haven’t added it up in exact minutes or seconds…but I bet there’s potentially just as much complete silence within the framework of “Paratrooping Dream” as there is actual sound…and straight-up, that’s gonna work better for some than others out there when it comes to listening.  For those about to rock…you’re in the wrong place; this song is completely about artistic expression and real emotion in music that makes an impact through its use of space/sound combined.  Personally I think it’s bold, it’s a brilliant inclusion on the record, and its combination of ambient-hypnosis is something I could listen to at all times on any given day.  It’s really not all that often that you hear an artist/band take a timeout like this to really examine how effective space can be in music and I thought “Paratrooping Dream” as a result of its minimalism was one of the tracks that really made a maximum impact on Flutters.
Easing us back into music with more music in it, “Delicate Red” is another huge highlight on this album with perhaps one of its most accessible and inviting melodies that we’ve heard so far.  As much as I’m a big fan of the smart chord-choices that Dave makes to bring interesting tones, textures and atmospheres to our ears…I’ve also gotta really hand it to him for the clarity in the recordings capturing the genuine passion & emotion he plays with as well as it does.  “Delicate Red” is one of the best examples of Wirth’s music at its most stunning & beautiful as it weaves through its dreamlike structure; I couldn’t get enough of this melodic-gem in the middle of what’s become a truly strong mid-section of Flutters as it continues on.
I cracked a genuine smile when listening to “Aulternative” – because…well…because it’s freakin’ brilliant that’s why.  Dave has kept this record plenty chilled-out from the moment it started…and that’s not about to change here…but the addition of what are noticeably ‘grunge’ chords ripped right out of the unplugged-alternative era are something you can definitely hear.  Hence, the brilliant title to reflect that…or at least that’s the theory I’m going with.  This combination of folk/alternative is a highly effective idea and cleverly crafted, orchestrated & assembled by Dave to get the most out of each moment.  That alt-sound is definitely there…might be masked by the ol’ folk-magic brightening it up times…but to me, there’s no mistaking sounds like these.  Some of those golden chords could have come right off of brilliant acoustic-based records from Alice In Chains like their Unplugged record or even their first EP, Sap.  “Aulternative” is a smart track all the way through and captures some of the essence of that lethargic/uplifting mix of the energy and attitude of the music of the alternative era that made it so full of bold contrast and massively interesting to listen to.  Wirth keeps this tune solidly entertaining through both aspects of the song’s two dominating personalities & mood-swings.
“Uma Shock” was a bit ‘take it or leave it’ for me; certainly makes sense to include it on this instrumental record of Wirth’s…short enough that in a sense, once it’s written easier to include certainly than to discard.  I’ve got no real issues with “Uma Shock” – it’s a short & sweet track that definitely isn’t offensive to the ears by any standard…I suppose if anything, just felt more like the beginning of an idea to come rather than a complete one on its own.  Much the same could potentially be said of “Parchment Ruse” to follow, which is even more sparse by comparison and similar to an idea like “Paratrooping Dream” for its use of space.  Good to serve as quick interludes on the record…I felt like “Parchment Ruse” displays some fantastic choices for the chords played but also felt the approach itself might have been best limited to the earlier attempt with “Paratrooping Dream” for one spot on the album in total.  Personally, I still like them both…just not sure the album needs two widely-spread ideas in the one listening experience.
Even with “A Take On Lonesome Dove” bringing a bit more structure back to the atmosphere, it still felt as if Flutters was still searching & wandering towards its next imaginative idea.  “A Take On Lonesome Dove” has a delicate gentleness to it – and much like many of these songs, the crisp, clean & clear way that it’s been recorded really does draw you in to listen closely…but overall, following “Uma Shock” and “Parchment Ruse” it does feel like the focus has meandered a bit towards the end of Flutters.  Of course…it’s important to recognize a lot of the intentions behind the writing of these songs and this album is one of ambient-style ambition…and even in the moments where you might zone-out for a second into the world around you, this isn’t music you’d ever turn off so much as leave running in the background like the natural soundtrack that coincides with your own life.  The album, like many in the ambient genre, will also snap you back into it when you hear a sound that particularly resonates with you…just like “All, One Honduras” did with me towards the end of the record.  A stunning and gorgeous return to melody that has real focus and heart – I thought the exquisite texture to the sound of “All, One Honduras” made for one of the most endearing and sweet songs on Flutters.  Really well played & performed…there is absolutely amazing & beautiful tones throughout this song, gentle yet captivating, all at the same time.
Ending in the pensive and thoughtful tones & movements from which it all began, the title-track “Flutters” ends the experience conclusively.  Another tender melody and smartly played tune…I like the natural quiet/loud that Dave has included in this song and in many of the performances along the way.  The fading at the end of “Flutters” sounds like it was done by hand rather than in the booth…but even before that, scattered throughout this song and others you can hear him adapt to the emotion and energy of the writing by striking the notes or chords with the appropriate power to echo the intentions.
I’ll say this in conclusion…I think Flutters is a fantastic album to help heal the soul and soothe the mind.  It’s hard to get ‘excited’ about anything remotely ambient…the very nature of the genre is so entirely laid-back and chilled out that any over-the-top enthusiasm would seem out of place…but I can certainly vouch for the fact that I’ve enjoyed every song on this record in one way, shape or form.  I think a lot of the tones, textures and emotions that run deep throughout this album are the kind that people truly respond to…like feelings we can all relate to.  Dave’s played this record with a lot of admirable heart – and I think above all, that’s really what you’ll hear on Flutters more than anything else.
Conveniently…Flutters officially releases February 14th this year.  Stay connected to the information & music of Dave Wirth at his official page:
Flutters Reviewed on

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Flutters by Dave Wirth is an exclusively acoustic full length, divided to 13 arrangements of improvisative/super-contemplative string strumming. And there is a lot to be heard indeed, as frequencies demand full attention as they are finally given due time and real estate to claim their full share of murdered silence on.

"Technically" speaking, the artistic aim behind the disc is to showcase how awareness moves within an unrelenting type of layered existence which IT creates in the process, leaving behind traces of sounds, but now documented in larger-than-life proportions, courtesy of recording equipment entirely devoted to paint a very precise picture of audible stimuli. Read on to know more.

Wirth's music is deeply introspective, self-reflective, imperturbed, and dangerless. It has a concept of motion, even an ability to move, but it does not have any urge to do so on a constant basis. Instead, the album first and foremost is prone to invite the listener to re-discover the fundamental intimacy of the concept of sound. Wirth won't try to convince you of any special-, Mad Sk1ll LevelzZz at guitar molestation, nor he will bring forth a constant urge to discover harmonies that aren't conceived on this earth - although he will have surprises up his sleeves. With songs like "Penumbra Nadir" or the titular "Flutters", increased levels of harmonic awareness and playfulness is observable, toppled by the fact that Wirth always manages to stay away from the act of shaking his own hand - which would be very hard to do while playing "tAh" guitar while holding a coffee mug, anyway.

As mentioned, the core behaviour of the record is reflective of an artistic stance that does not seek to impress at all, as its aim is to re-discover and worship the importance of sound, and indeed this very awe-, this very fascination towards the magic of sound created out of nothing/out of mere potential, is captured and delivered on the release. As such, the disc is a necessary success. I have zero doubt that Wirth captured his soul while playing this, and it is up to the individual listener to find out if said listener is able to identify the pivotal points of soul movements/activities lingering in this deliberate self-abduction.

This agenda, to capture the movement of the player's soul, is primordial, while the anatomical structure of the respective songs is only of secondary importance. In his review request, Dave Wirth wrote to me that he had to convince the producer to not use any after-effects and highly occult sonic-wizardry through the release, let everything stay natural, as it was upon the creation of the tracks. A noble and sane goal: these precedents were recorded with a myriad of microphones, and the production values indeed are top of the foodchain, as each and every receptor of the ensuing recording apparatus is directed into capturing the full register of the acoustic guitar. And there is a lot to be heard indeed, as frequencies demand full attention as they are finally given due time and real estate to claim their full share of murdered silence on.

A deeply intimate release, which openly emerges to fetishize the timeless charm of the acoustic guitar, and said instrument won't have a single complaint in store towards this relentless dynamic. A legitimate, thorough love affair for all acoustic guitar lovers. Listen at 4:03, at the end of the "Penumbra Nadir" song: is that a sound of digestion?


By M

This stripped-down Austin duo brings raw passion and much enthusiasm to the rock table with their simplistic use of drums, vocals and one guitar. It’s not a combination that many bands can successfully pull off, but Sprightly Moans has made a sound uniquely all their own that’s instantly recognizable. 

When most people think of a guitar-and-drum band, Jack White probably comes to mind with his garish brightness and blues-influenced grunge rock but don’t be fooled by the genre. From soft, acoustic melodies tinged with sadness to harder-hitting pop-rock anthems, Sprightly Moans brings to music what a lit fuse brings to a rocket – quiet and unassuming at first, but you’re just waiting for it to explode. 

The lyrics are simplistic but full of meaning, and can bring about a surprising range of emotions within the same song – laughter and melancholy, happiness and reflection – without losing the listener’s focus. Some songs just seem to be the soundtrack to life and its various ups and downs, which means Sprightly Moans should be playing in the back of your mind at least once a day. 

“I Wanna Be Afraid”, a single from their Demos III EP, recalls lazy days with your friends - times when you just hung out together and had a few cold ones in the heat of summer while listening to music on the back porch. The lyrics are trippy and easy to sing along with as you sway with the wind that blows your hair – and your mind. On the other hand, “Love is Nothing Without Eternity” is haunting, ethereal and jaw-dropping in its tenderness and respect to the creation of the song and the words that lie within. 

As brilliant as they are with lyrics and as creative as they are with sound, the vocals can occasionally come across as too muddled to properly understand and might seem a touch overplayed in the closed-mouth way of some singers today. But that’s not to say Sprightly Moans is just another band, not at all. They are a dynamic, integral part of the Austin music scene and around the world, a spaceship waiting to break through the atmosphere into the world beyond. 

Determination, a unique style and caring about their audience is a winning recipe that this band is cooking up fervently, with no plans to stop anytime soon – and that’s good news for everyone.

Sprightly Moans: Demos III
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By Brendon at Shadows Records 

The three track EP is very enjoyable and will be a good home for any fan of classic rock. Often in today's music it's hard to find artists that go straight to their roots without mimicking them entirely. Sprightly Moans brings a fresh spun sound that will have their listeners captivated. I think these guys have a bright future and I look forward to their full album release...

To read the rest of this review, please click here.

Sprightly Moans: Demos III
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By Jer at Sleeping Bag Studios:

“I Wanna Be Afraid,” the second track on the EP is the unsung hero for sure.  I know just by my own natural tendencies that this will end up being the track I love the most.  There’s something about the approach to this track in the chorus…but that line in particular “I Wanna Be Afraid…” it’s almost like you can hear him searching his mind for the feeling each time he repeats the line.  Vocally, this EP again shows just how much a band can grow in a short time.  They are beyond spot on in all three tracks, beyond rock and into the beautiful.  They pull you in; it’s that same somewhat…I dunno…it’s a different approach…like…if you like the singer from The Cold War Kids, you’ll know what I mean I suppose.  They sound like there’s a struggle and a battle to be won each time the mic is switched on; full of raw emotion and a trembling hint that they could just as easily break as explode.

“Love Is Nothing Without Eternity…”

How on EARTH am I going to keep a review on a three song EP to a reasonable length if you people are going to put a track as amazing as THIS on your discs?

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Sprightly Moans: Demos III
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By Indie Band Guru:

There is music in our heads that always wants to escape into the real world.  Unfortunately it is not always the easiest thing to get the beautiful sounds in your head to transfer to the recorded medium.  Sometimes a little help is needed and a partner in crime/music.  This led to the creation of our recent find, Sprightly Moans...

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Sprightly Moans: Demos III
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By Chris Romans of Hear The Indie.

Emotion is one of the prevalent qualities on Demos III as far as I am concerned. I know this is a fairly cliche or useless descriptor, but hear me out. While so much garage rock, punk rock, black metal, and other lo-fidelity forms of music are intrinsically emotional in one way or another, it often feels like a facade. So many modern punk bands with their pseudo-anarchistic mannerisms, roaring guitars, and deafening vocalists belting into a microphone feel empty to me. Granted, this is not every act in the genre, but it seems like the music is manufactured for the purpose of sales. As such, emotions are present but empty, used simply to lure people already in an emotional state of mind. Lyrical topics are followed quickly, with so many artists hitting on contrived and stale topics, such as governmental oppression. Sprightly Moans manages to surpass my emotional expectations with unique lyrical topics, often bordering on beautiful poetry (and sometimes surpassing the borderline) and a fairly interesting manner of expressing these thematic concepts musically under the guise of lo-fi garage rock.

Indeed, the lyrics on the whole are a point well worth noting. With each track lending some sort of evocative phrasing or idea. Additionally, the ability of the lyric producer to begin by examining a topic so worn out, then throw in his own existential perspective. I can not get "Love Is Nothing Without Eternity" out of mind, not only because of it's hauntingly simply melody, but because of the words sung throughout. They are catchy because they rely heavily on elements of folk and contemporary pop music, almost bordering on a religious tune by the likes of Michael W. Smith at moments, and it leads to an extraordinary output with the focal point being love, death, some sense of existential longing, crossing the border where nihilism (and a generalized disattachment to the physical universe) meets a longing for life...

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Sprightly Moans: Demos III
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By Chris Marsh, of

...and after all that, the curveball is found in ‘Love Is Nothing Without Eternity’ – a beautifully delicate acoustic number with a Hawaiian vibe. It’s a preciously fragile song which wouldn’t be at all out of place on an indie movie soundtrack...

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Along the intricately tangled roots buried deep within the origins of rock, emerges a powerful force known as Sprightly Moans. The Austin, Texas duo has just unleashed the latest single “I Wanna Be Afraid” From their upcoming album Demos III scheduled to be unveiled January 30th, 2014. If the single is any indication as to what Sprightly Moans intends to bring to the discriminating ear, be ready for a chilling meet and greet filled with a perplexing, yet fascinating musical experience.  Laced with a mysterious voyage through the inner-workings of darkness and desire, the single is surprisingly accented with energetic twists and turns.

“I Wanna Be Afraid” is a carefully crafted Hard Rock piece that lyrically dances with the taboo while also redefining the rules of engagement for avid rock consumers. The use of conscious wordplay and elaborate vocal changes throughout the song worked in a cohesive  manner with the instrumental elements to produce a flight of the imagination into an unchartered realm. The lyrics work effectively to blanket the atmosphere with a heavy, shadowy cloud that becomes surprisingly weightless as the chorus lurches in. When a band can actually make the tiny hairs on your neck stand up, it is fairly certain to say that they have delivered...

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By Sir Jorge of SellOutRecords.Blogspot.Com

Sprightly Moans puts together an eclectic blend of music, and does so in such a daring manner. You get that from the first sounds of "Demos III", their latest release, and while it may be short in songs, it proves to be an emblem of creative music. It’s a powerful performance piece that is hard to classify in one genre. Sure, it’s easy to say it’s rock, but it also has moments of indie, symphony, folk, and a touch for the dramatic here and there. You don’t hear this kind of passion in a lot of artists, which is why the album fits so well with me.

Not since I first heard Bradley Hathaway perform at Tomfest, have I heard such a unique mix of passion and poetic lyricism. Sprightly Moans provides a good wall of noise on “Blushes all Around”. Some may liken it to MeWithoutYou, and others may hear shades of Pedro The Lion, with a louder “White Stripes” tenacity on guitars. On “I Wanna Be Afraid” the band really stretches a bit, rolling through a variety of sounds and rhythms yet holding tight to the rock infused sound.

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Sprightly Moans: Demos III
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By Mike Giord.

When it comes to avant-garde there comes to mind a lot of music, because the avant-garde masterpieces has given us so many albums... Forgettable. But now come to our rescue the Sprightly Moans, American band with a rock vein makes a voice its characteristic point.

(Please note: this review was originally written in Italian, and the above is a rough translation)

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The music has a lot of guitar, and a lot of drums. My favorite song of the three songs that are available on Demos II is Twin Kilns. It kind of reminds me of Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles. And that’s mainly due to the drums in the song. And a little bit of that far away vocal sound that is in Tomorrow Never Knows. The lyrics are honest, the vocalists clearly states that ‘nothing good can come of this.’

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Hailing from Austin, TX, Sprightly Moans has carved out a unique sound scape in the Lone Star State. Fronted by Dave Wirth and saddled with Jeff Olson, this two man show packs a massive punch. Not quite your Black Keys duo, though the amount of sonic space that is filled with two musicians is remarkable. Let me say this, the music of Sprightly Moans will not be everyone’s cup of tea. For those who drink the elixir will be pleased that they let them into their ear drums. 

Dave’s vocals are unapologetic and the drum beat takes control of your lower extremities. Each song I listened to had two songs in each; the standard vocals and instruments, then end with a parallel instrumental section with high energy. In Twin Kilns, the outro takes you into the sunset with the percussion. Dots and Dashes shows us some of the higher vocal register reaches of Mr. Wirth. The symmetry of the drum rolls and distorted guitar fit like a glove and make sense of the madness. Brinksmanship takes the dirty grunge sound with heartfelt vocals, helping tell the story. 

Having three releases into the market, this group is legit and for real. When they show up on the bill at your favorite music venue, you would regret not having your ears ringing the next day. Don’t mess with Sprightly Moans. 

By Donald Mason

Sprightly Moans: Demos II
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By Mike Giord

Oggi abbiamo voglia di postare e quindi ci diamo da fare.

No cicciotti è che ora ci vuole una bella recensione di una band seria e quindi scoviamo nell’underground più profondo per beccarci i Sprightly Moans.

Quanto sono cazzuti? Un casino.
Che genere fanno? Un genere figo.

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By Mister Growl of

Sprightly Moans play music for beer drinking, high-fiving, and billiard disputes, capturing the raucous spirit of a bar at last call, with rhythms that roll with tumbleweed abandon and riffs that can punch holes through sheet metal. 

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Sprightly Moans: Demos II
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By Chris Romans of

Sprightly Moans, the musical outlet of duo Dave Wirth and Jeff Olson, is a strange rock act with it’s sight on deconstructing the philosophical underpinnings of music, as well as the common economic structure found within the music industry. Demos II, an aptly titled mini-album of sorts, showcases 3 tracks from this band with a brief but definitive run time of about 12 minutes. At times through my multiple listens through this music it can be difficult to really pin it down. From the opening minutes, the influence from garage punk and metal bands was obvious, but this is also something more than just that.  

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Sprightly Moans: Demos II
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