Features

Sergeant Sparrow Records [Label Spotlight]

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If Sergeant Sparrow Records rings a bell to most of you avid FensePost readers, that may be because the work they have put out has been no stranger to our little world. The label’s owner/operator/lady in charge, Angel Russell, has been featured for her solo work (of which is absolutely phenomenal) and teammate Arman Augusto has been noted as well for his project The Walking. And if these posts still don’t ring a bell, that is a shame. But worry not ye weary ones, there is still time to save your indie soul.

Sergeant Sparrow Records is quaint, but very full of life. Head honcho Angel Russell definitely knows her stuff. She has managed to take her San Diego-based label, move it to the east coast, and spark a bi-monthly magazine and a weekly radio show in her newly found home of Martha’s Vineyard, MA. And to top all of her successes, the whole damn thing is non profit. But what contributes to her triumphs and success isn’t just her own doing – she also happens to have some extremely brilliant acts attached to her label.

The fore-mentioned Arman Augusto is a man of which no words can really come to mind for some sort of description. He is simply incredible. Some artists develop their musical sensibility over extended period of time. Arman, whether as The Walking or his full fledged band Golden Red or his experimental project The Old Lace, is without a doubt the latter. The Walking’s 2009 album Wanderings And Distractions still leaves listeners in disbelief at how one man can turn generalized anti-folk music into a real to life freaking’ space adventure. The man is a damn genius. His third album Sensory has also been recently released, and offers up a few rearranged tracks that have been featured on Sergeant Sparrow compilations, as well as a some new records that, in Arman’s words, “reminds me of when I was younger playing a beat up acoustic guitar in my bedroom recording myself with one of those old hand held cassette tape recorders, uncomfortably leaning in close to its crappy built in microphones.”

Swamp Angels is another fantastic group sporting the Sergeant Sparrow brand. Our heroine Angel Russell also appears in this group wailing on the trumpet, as well as her beautiful guitar and vocal duties. Adam Lipsky provides beautiful piano work as well on the band’s most recent self titled release. Adam Howell, Niko Ewing, and Andrew Prouty round out this beautiful lo-fi project that should not be overlooked.
Sergeant Sparrow also brings in the likes of Matthew Sweet (a.k.a. Tourists On Horses) with his sweet melancholy “bleeding robot” melodies and sweet aftermath of experimentation, as well as the duo project of Angel Russell and Adam Howell (of the fore-mentioned Swamp Angels) where lo-fi recording meets melodies, guitar, and noise.

This might very well be one of the most solid rosters you could hear these days. But, what is most impressive about this label is the total force integrated sort of grassroots feel that it provides. The music is amazing and awe inspiring, but the story behind the project is equally amazing. It is the tale of one immensely talented woman, knowing her dream, and not letting a damn thing get in her way while she attempts to reach it. Even with a label, magazine, and radio show, it is safe to say that Angel Russell has not even begun to take Sergeant Sparrow to the limits. Not by a damn sight.

To learn more about and to Sergeant Sparrow Records, visit their website.

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