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LIGHTHOUSE SPARROWS

Neo-Prog • Finland


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Lighthouse Sparrows biography
A Finnish rock project LIGHTHOUSE SPARROWS have got started in July 2019 as an experimental rock duo founded by Sami SARHAMAA (guitars, bass, voices) and Olli HUHTANEN (voices, keyboards), both of whom have worked in the music scene together for over a decade. They started composing material smoothly at first, but in March 2020, Covid-19 outbreak changed the situation. All of their projects were delayed or cancelled, but they never gave up and produced five promising songs - that saw the light as their debut ep titled "The Deep End" released on August 1st, 2020, in collaboration with Miri MIETTINEN upon drums and Trio TINGO upon backing voices.

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3.98 | 8 ratings
The Deep End
2020

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Deep End by LIGHTHOUSE SPARROWS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2020
3.98 | 8 ratings

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The Deep End
Lighthouse Sparrows Neo-Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars 'The Deep End' is a spellbinding EP recently forwarded from Finland to us prog fans. Roundabout thirty minutes playing time, composed by the longtime musical companions Sami Sarhamaa and Olli Huhtanen, who both also provide the complete guitar, bass, keyboard and vocal stuff. While they aren't defining something totally new concerning the stylistical aspect, eh, I know, difficult enough anyway, the five compositions all are real winners. So this is featuring sense of melancholy and melody, diverse stages, moods and technical skills. All in all it appeals, is convincing me very much in its entirety. This also due to drummer Miri Miettinen, who is a great addition to that staff.

Gravest Danger kicks off with an atmospheric feel, later evolves to a more straightforward rocking issue. Perfect sound mix all over the place, resulting in an enjoyable lush experience. Scales then offers some psychedelic reminiscence to Pink Floyd for the first time, later continued with the title track Deep End. LIGHTHOUSE SPARROWS are offering really entertaining and gripping arrangements, also comparable to the likes of RPWL or Airbag maybe, a bit heavier though here and there. Bravo, Sami and Olli, very good start. I'm expecting to hear more like this soon!

 The Deep End by LIGHTHOUSE SPARROWS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2020
3.98 | 8 ratings

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The Deep End
Lighthouse Sparrows Neo-Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars LIGHTHOUSE SPARROWS is a collaboration between two long-time professional musicians, Sami Sarhamaa (guitars, bass, vocals, additional keys) and Olli Huhtanen (vocals, keys). This 30-minute debut features also Miri Miettinen on drums and Trio Tingo's backing vocals. Huhtanen has worked as a film composer and sound designer, and in his work he has often crossed paths with Sarhamaa, who is better known in Finnish prog circles. He was one of the three central figures in the instrumentally oriented band KATAYA, which is a fairly good comparison for this music even though all of the five tracks here feature vocals. In the early 80's Sarhamaa was in a prog band called Chapter One, and he has also released ambient albums Scapes & Tracks (2009) and Trails of Mist (2013) under the pseudonym Sam Marsala. And in the Heavy Prog category there's LIQUID WOLF led by Sarhamaa.

In July 2019 Lighthouse Sparrows (a suitable name indeed, even though the music soars more like a swallow than a modest sparrow) was born, and the two "started writing music instantly. Would it be progressive rock, art rock or something else? We decided just to let things flow with no limitations whatsoever." They didn't want to feel any pressure since both were kept busy by their own work too -- until other projects were cancelled due to the certain virus. They withdrew into their own studios and kept in touch virtually. But now into the music. Neo-Prog is a valid category, but perhaps it's easier to find similar styled acts from Crossover Prog. Although Sarhamaa's Kataya partner Matti Kervinen is not involved, I sense some kindred spirit also to Kervinen's other projects PAX ROMANA and SUNHILLOW. The music is spatial, atmospheric and melodic, easy just to sit back and enjoy. The certain Pink Floyd flavour is obvious but not derivative.

'Gravest Danger' is a perfect example of combining the accessible, melodic "deep pop" sensibility with an excellent production and musicianship full of progressive nuances and deep ambiences. The duo's experience in film music has certainly affected the result in a good way. Throughout the brief album keyboards and guitars build sophisticated and multi-layered soundscapes. Undoubtedly the music would work pretty well as completely instrumental, in the Kataya style, but the vocals add another dimension. Occasionally they remind me of (not only the mentioned Matti Kervinen but also) Guy Manning -- when he's not so close to Ian Anderson.

All of the five songs are very good. They are kept quite economical in length (the longest is only 7:11), so don't expect symphonically meandering Neo-Prog. Lots of fine instrumental soloing you do hear though. Maybe the best piece is 'Gravity' -- yes, the longest one -- that finishes the album with a beautiful and delicate piano solo.

Thanks to dAmOxT7942 for the artist addition.

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