Tuesday, April 7, 2020

New Single, Video from Sweet Spirit. Trinidad Out 5/29.

Sweet Spirit by Roger Ho

"No Dancing"

You'd think that I'd have been using the last several weeks of statewide lockdown to discover new music and write about it here. Welp, it hasn't really been going that way. I'm usually here by myself at CDMHQ; and the added (but certainly not unwelcome) distraction of having the coolfamily here 24/7, coupled with the constant stream (less welcome) of pandemic news, has made it difficult to focus on my usually solitary activity of working on this site.

Instead, during this time, I've been focusing on those old stand-by things that have brought me joy over the years: bicycling, running / walking outdoors, The New York Times's daily "Spelling Bee" puzzle, science fiction, family, and my favorite bands.

Austin's Sweet Spirit are a relatively new entry in my pantheon of favorite bands. A few SXSWs ago, I was walking back to my hotel after a very long day. I checked the official app and noticed that Spiral Stairs was playing a midnight set at Maggie Mae's. Being a huge Pavement fan, I headed upstairs and caught the show. At around 1AM, I noticed the crowd starting to pack in for the next act.

"Who's up next?" I asked someone.

"Sweet Spirit!" they offered enthusiastically.

I hadn't heard of the band before, and I was completely spent. I decided to trudge my way back up the giant hill to the La Quinta and collapse into bed. Regrets as I later learned that Sweet Spirit are another project of Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen of A Giant Dog. Since then, in the last 3 or 4 years, few bands -- few THINGS -- have brought me more joy than Sweet Spirit and A Giant Dog.

Today, Sweet Spirit released the second single from their upcoming Trinidad (5/29, Merge). The accompanying, Ed Dougherty-directed video for "No Dancing" finds the band (which, in addition to Ellis and Cashen, includes Danny Blanchard, Jon Fichter, Jake Knight, and Joshua Merry) leading the students and staff of the arts program at Austin's Eastside Memorial High School through a glittery and joyful celebration of the power of music and dancing. Sweet Spirit recently raised money for the program with help from the Tingari-Silverton Foundation.

"No Dancing" comes right when we need it, I think. We can all identify with Ellis as they sing, "Wanna hear some records play / Wanna see some bodies sway" and "Keep dreaming of a future bright." We'll be done with all of this eventually. We'll have a new Sweet Spirit album and an accompanying tour during which we can all dance and sweat together.

That's a very long-winded way of saying check out this new video from Sweet Spirt and pre-order their album over at Merge or from your favorite independent record store.

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