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Lighthouse Sparrows


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Lighthouse Sparrows Aerials album cover
3.90 | 29 ratings | 2 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2022

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Bates (2:39)
2. Assimilate (6:05)
3. Moodswings (5:26)
4. Kibitzer (5:12)
5. No Still Moment (8:29)
6. Elephant (5:28)
7. Like Blood (5:29)
8. Itinerant (6:39)
9. Percolator (6:27)
10. Safe and Sound (5:07)
11. Youth (8:35)

Total Time 65:36

Line-up / Musicians

- Olli Huhtanen / vocals, keyboards
- Sami Sarhamaa / vocals, bass, guitar

- Miri Miettinen / drums
- Ella Eriksson / backing vocals

Releases information

2LP/Digital album, Samsara Records
release date January 14, 2022

Thanks to rivertree for the addition
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LIGHTHOUSE SPARROWS Aerials ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
4 stars The Finnish two-man project LIGHTHOUSE SPARROWS -- Sami Sarhamaa (vocals, guitars, basses) and Olli Huhtanen (vocals, keyboards) -- have now released their first proper album, following the debut ep The Deep End (2020) and the singles 'Safe & Sound' and 'Elephant', both included on this new album. Accompanying the creative duo, drummer Miri Miettinen is again on board, and two tracks feature female backing vocals of Ella Eriksson. Aerials is available on digital format, cd and a double vinyl.

The roughly 66-minute album opens with an instrumental piece 'Bates'. The electric guitar and keys carry the melodies reminiscent of IQ for instance. 'Assimilate' is a good example of the band's general style which I consider to be fairly comparable to Pax Romana and other projects of my namesake Matti Kervinen, with whom Sarhamaa has collaborated a lot. That is, a slightly melancholic song in an unhurried tempo, some Pink Floyd vibes and a nice balance between vocal orientation and a sophisticated soundscape painting with instrumental sections. All in all not very complex, meandering compositions full of odd time signatures, but I've never demanded those things from good prog anyway. Another thing to enjoy with Lighthouse Sparrows is the alteration of two different vocals, both being fairly good. Whereas Olli Huhtanen's voice reminds me of Guy Manning, Sami Sarhamaa has a bit smokier voice with an occasional David Sylvian feel in the delivery. He sings on 'Moodswings' which is one of the most impressive songs on Aerials due to its emotional depth. It somehow reminds me of Roger Waters' album Is This the Life We Really Want?, mainly for the mood and synth sounds.

'Kibitzer' sung by Huhtanen is basically quite a vocal oriented song with several repetitive lines but it stretches into very cool and cinematic sonic details. The electric guitar solo is powerful. 'No Still Moment' is another emotionally impressive, melancholic song with Sarhamaa's lead vocals. Nice to notice he mentions David Sylvian among his favourites. Although at this early stage of absorbing the album I tend to enjoy the songs with Sarhamaa's vocals more, I truly couldn't say the songs with Huhtanen's lead vocals were less finely crafted. The two really work brilliantly together in shaping the songs.

Even without keeping an eye closely on the lyrics, the listener gets the feeling that they are an essential part of the music. According to Sarhamaa, he and Huhtanen "write lyrics after the music has taken shape. For me the lyrics are mandatory for the melody, I need the timing and the feel of the lyrics to make the melody. (...) Usually the one that writes the lyrics sings them as well. (...) Our songs are very much an amalgam of our ideas, of course the initial idea is from either of us, but the end result is almost always more or less 50/50. I tend to do more arranging, Olli's focus is more on the melodies and harmonies. As rhythm is mostly my department, my focus is very much on the groove and tempo at the beginning."

'Safe & Sound' I have reviewed separately as a single. This moody song about the pandemic isolation is something just about anyone can easily relate to. The female backing vocals are a fine addition in it. The final track 'Youth' contains speech samples mainly from Greta Thunberg. This piece is the longest (8:35) and sonically the 'widest' one, and its spatial sections with vocals are really something to get under your skin. In fact, when I listened to this album for the first time, my initial reception was somewhat lukewarm, but now I realize it gets better with time. The carefully detailed sounds and the excellent production, good vocals, the easy-to-digest melodicism, the emotion and the sense of meaningfulness on the songs, they all make me rate this album with gratitious four stars.

P.S. If you want to know more of this band and the Finnish prog scene today, you may also find it interesting to read the entire lengthy interview of Sami Sarhamaa. His musical history indeed has many prog-oriented chapters (e.g. Pax Romana, Kataya, Liquid Wolf -- to mention the bands included here). See the 'Interviews' section in the ProgArchives Forum.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars The real full-length debut album offered by this productive composer duo Olli Huhtanen and Sami Sarhamaa from Finland. Both are covering all the guitar, bass, keyboard and vocal duties again. Hah, guessed correctly, when I came in touch with their initial EP in 2020 I was quite sure that this could not be the deep end. The elaborate arrangements convinced me, so much spirit available, consequently there was more to be expected. Mission accomplished almost two years later! This requires a fruitful collaboration with a drummer of course. Yep, Miri Miettinen delivers a great job, that should be noted. Finally Ella Eriksson aka EllaElla rounds it all up with some nice speech and backing vocals like on the charming track Safe And Sound. That needs a further note now concerning the sound quality, it's exorbitant, leaves nothing to be desired.

For good reason I'll continue with the second track Assimilate, eh, the title somehow hits the nail on the head. This is a prog album for sure, nevertheless sometimes also features sophisticated pop rock imprints, for example in the vein of Tears For Fears in best form. No problem, I'm feeling absolutely comfortable with this clever production. The closing track Youth on the other hand is such a multi-varianted exemplar. Songwriting at its best. No Still Moment even features a complete choir backing. Hence, literally seen they are '... giving people what they deserve ...', Kibitzer definitely makes my day, appears as one album highlight. Or just take the fabulous Itinerant with its enourmous pressure and groove, fantastic! Finally, according to the atmosphere and niveau, let me compare this with Perfect Storm's album 'No Air'. 'Aerials' is available in digital and double vinyl format through the Samsara Records label. A must have for melodic (prog) rock lovers.

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