FIRST FULL-LENGTH ALBUM SEARCHING FOR THE DAWN 09/08/2018
Sparkman is rock like you’ve never heard it before. While each track Sparkman delivers has simple structure and instrumentation, each member contributes their individual and refreshing style, placing Sparkman into a perfect genre of their own: acoustic/alternative rock. Recorded at Sioux Sioux Studio, single “Fireworks”, released today, is no exception to their engaging approach. Off their upcoming first full-length album Searching for the Dawn to be released early September, “Fireworks” gives listeners their first taste of Sparkman’s new sound as a full band with electric guitar picking and clean drum beats. Adding heavily distorted guitar and synth sounds on the album creates a new signature sound theme: the complexity of the acoustic guitar. With a brand new indie feel, “Fireworks” twists through a catchy chorus into a loving slow jam and back.
Each artist’s musical journey is unique as no two paths ever unfold exactly the same, especially when it comes to acoustic-based alternative three-piece Sparkman. Beginning as a one-man act, Sparkman started with Charlotte native Chris Vercauteren, his Taylor acoustic and a dream. Setting out to narrate life’s moments of sunshine, Vercauteren uses the grace and calming rhythms of the acoustic guitar to complement his drifting soft, yet strong vocal talent in Sparkman’s debut EP Fail Forward. Top singles “Mountain Girl” and “We All Wake Up” off Fail Forward are both peaceful lullabies and upbeat coffeeshop tracks, expressing Vercauteren lyrical versatility.
With Charlotte’s music scene bubbling with local showcases and artist networking opportunities, Vercauteren met the two newest members of Sparkman: Brandon Clayton (drums) and Taylor West (bass), creating a full-band version of Sparkman that brings a magical live experience at each show they play. Taking advantage of Charlotte’s live music appreciation, Sparkman draws an enthusiastic crowd full of cheers after each song. Each live performance captivates the audience from The Evening Muse to secret SoFar Charlotte shows. The group’s musical influences range from modern-day singer/songwriters (Dave Matthews, John Mayer, James Bay) to alternative rock giants (Black Keys, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys), giving the trio powerful and well-rounded sound.
Chris Vercauteren on “Fireworks”
“Fireworks is the oldest song on the record. I’ve actually had the guitar part for it since I was 16 years old. It wasn’t until recently that I was able to play it and sing at the same time. Like the rest of the album, Fireworks is all about the search for a more meaningful life. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the BS, and the song is about identifying what’s most important to you and letting those things guide you. In this particular song, the narrator puts his faith in love and trusts that his lover will lead him to a better life, away from all the distractions.
The song is also a commentary on the human condition, particularly in the US. The second verse outlines how we all have dreams, yet we have no idea how to achieve them. Instead of pushing our own personal boundaries to get there, 99% of us will stick to the path that’s outlined for us and never go for anything. This song is about striving to be the 1%. It’s about having faith in something greater than yourself, and trusting that your loved ones will get you there. “
More about Sparkman
Chris Vercauteren began Sparkman out of necessity from his overwhelming desire to write songs since he was just 15. After graduating college, it was the first time in 7 years he wasn’t playing in a band and writing songs as a group, so he began writing solo-acoustic songs in his apartment. After two years of writing songs in his apartment, Vercauteren released the first, light-hearted EP Fail Forward. Despite having released a lighter-sounding debut EP, he gravitated towards rockier alternative music like the Black Keys, Kings of Leon, and Cage the Elephant to lead his inspiration on full-length album Searching for the Dawn. Rather than change his whole approach on the next album, he decided to combine the two influences with acoustic and electric guitar and added Brandon Clayton and Taylor West to run with the new sound.
September 8th @ The Evening Muse – Charlotte, NC
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