Sunshiney New Zealand crooner Lawrence Arabia is back with a third album of 60s-influenced pop on Bella Union. The Sparrow is the follow-up to 2009’s Chant Darling, which won the hearts of even the most charcoal-souled critics and put the fellow who toured as Okkervil River’s bassist and supported Feist on a jaunt or two front and center. Of course, James Milne (as Lawrence Arabia’s birth certificate calls him) has been doing the music thing for nearly a decade, so he knows his way around a stage, having been a member of both The Brunettes and Ruby Suns. Milne has also contributed to film soundtracks like Eagle vs. Shark and produced original tunes for TV, film, and theatre.
Recorded in late 2011, Arabia’s third album was the work of Milne, Elroy Finn, and Connan Mockasin, who all holed up together in a big house in Surrey, England that they called the Japanese Academy. (Such charming people. I call my house That F*$%ing Apartment Where Everything Breaks Down & Which Will Probably Collapse On Top of Me in an Earthquake. Mark my words, dear reader.) Although you may think from listening to the album that an entire orchestra was also bunking at the Japanese Academy, it is my journalistic duty to tell you that strings and horns were added later at Roundhead Studios in Auckland. Sorry to dispel any romantic orchestral notions. Arabia mixed and produced the album himself. The Sparrow takes flight (sorry, I had to, it’s just begging for it) on July 24, and Lawrence himself is flying around New Zealand just before then (with more US/EU tourdates coming soon). Check out the dates below the album trailer.
07.13.12 - Christchurch, New Zealand - St. Michael’s and All Angels
07.14.12 - Dunedin, New Zealand - Sammy’s
07.20.12 - Auckland, New Zealand - Auckland Town Hall
07.22.12 - Wellington, New Zealand - Wellington Opera House