“I could end it all, just a shift of body weight, sun rising as I fall from the top of the Golden Gate.” – ‘Body Weight’, White Tail Falls
New York City is a bad place to be when your world falls apart. When you wake up to another three-day hangover and remember your girlfriend left you, your therapist has done all they can and the songwriting life you always dreamed of has become a spirit-crushing grind, chasing major album writing credits as if your talent isn’t your own anymore.
It’s moments like these that make or break lives. Some shift towards the sheer drop into dark water, others pivot onto more positive paths. Luckily, when Irwin Sparkes found himself right here in 2016, he picked up a guitar and wrote the fragile, exquisite, life-affirming ‘Body Weight’, a broken angel’s swoon of a song about the threads that life hangs from and how easily they snap – with a tip over the edge, a turn of a steering wheel. And just like that, his own turned brighter.
He’d set up his laptop and USB mic in hotel rooms and outhouses wherever he could, driven to get his delicate, soul-baring confessionals down on hard drive. “I’ve got sounds from inside this concrete installation in a ghost-town in Texas that had the perfect natural echo, I was keen for it to feel like it was living and breathing. It’s ugly in places. I’m creaking in my chair, but I like that. You can hear planes overhead, kids kicking balls against the fence and screaming and the same blackbird that would not shut up. That’s my breath on there, I like the idea that it’s still embedded. It became about making something that still felt alive and acoustic. Those tracks have a warmth for me.”