By PT Stinson
One year and thirty-six shows later and I’m not entirely sure how to write about Austin band Sweet Spirit.
Singing about not bailing your ass out of jail, sneaking into the country show, grocery money or hitting the highs of paradise in unashamed love, metaphors and comparisons are ill-suited for properly explaining the magnetism and stage presence of a band whose revelations never lose their luster.
Once upon a time a humble offshoot of the self-described Sabandrew (Sabrina C. Ellis + Andrew Cashen) songwriting engine of A Giant Dog (see earlier profile), 2014 saw the band evolve in size and musical scope, planting a flag in a different part of the music spectrum.
Playful. Vulnerable. Catchy. Gospel. Garage.Punk. Anthemic. Motown. Little Shop of Horrors. Slightly metal finishing moves from a band that by the flip of a coin could blow out a fifty-minute set of Marvin Gaye or AC/DC. Sweet Spirit is soul food, straight up.
Given the following they’ve developed in a short period of time, it’s pretty clear that this isn’t a solitary view.
Growing in size to a nine-piece that includes a killer horn section and backup singer following a New Year’s Eve revue of Marvin Gaye classics, shows are revival tent gatherings without the tent, led by a singer who could not only get atheist to show up to church but get them to stand up and shout Amen!
“Ooh yeah, yeah” the singer tells you that you’re not through with her. Confident, the song builds and builds before arriving at an acapella clearing before busting down the door to your heart with a big finish. Austin is home to a first-tier James Bond movie track and this is it.
Just about all of these songs are a spiritual thrill-ride of some sort or another. “Broken Bones” is a gospel punk glory at its finest, an unnamed disco track brilliantly splits the difference between Rod Stewart’s ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy’ and Kent’s ‘Music Non Stop.’ Thick gold medallion necklaces will come back into style immediately following the band’s full-album release.
Following the release of a four-track EP in February, the band will take to the road in the spring before launching a full-length put out by Nine Mile Records.
Sweet Spirit’s SXSW 2015 show dates
- 3/16 @ Spider House, 8 p.m.
- 3/17 @ Cheer Up’s, 8 p.m.
- 3/19 @ Liberty Chronicle Day Party, Noon
- 3/21 @ Botticelli’s, 2 p.m.
- 3/21 @ Homeslice Pizza, 7:30 p.m.
More SXSW Six Pack 2015
SXSW Six Pack 2014