Every time a new record from Steven R. Smith comes down the pipe, I’m glad to be their to let it hit the headphones. This time he’s back under the Ulaan Passerine heading. One of my favorite, the songs as UP often have a more pastoral view to them and “Pinara” doesn’t disappoint in that regard. While we’re all still stuck in the swelter of August, the first cut from Sun Spar is offers some relief. The cut swings on gentle waves, but brings a bit of fanfare via French Horn from Filippo Tramontana. The song builds, breaks, and streaks the windows with a quenching deluge of sound. The new record finds Smith bringing on a host of collaborators — Glenn Donaldson (Reds, Pinks & Purples, Skygreen Leopards), Brian Lucas (Dire Wolves, Old Million Eye), and Gareth Davis, who featured heavily on Smith’s last record, Spring. The opener feels like peeking into the beginnings of something steeped in grandeur, just the beginning of a new, more entangled chapter for Smith. The record is out September 2nd from Worstward Recordings.
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