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Tim Shiel shares new track “Sparrow” featuring Kaitlin Keegan and Leah Kardos, out via his own long-running label, Spirit Level.

Following celebrated collaborations with Mindy Meng Wang 王萌, Genesis Owusu & Braille Face, Sparrow is an emotive piano-driven slow-burner that exemplifies Shiel's deeply collaborative process, and signals the start of a prolific new era.

Returning is previous collaborator Leah Kardos, a Meanjin/Brisbane-born London-based pianist/composer and sound engineer who also contributed to Shiel’s acclaimed soundtrack for indie adventure game The Gardens Between.

Kardos’ delicate piano is fused with atmospheric sound design and soft UKG-indebted beats, topped by a soaring pop vocal from Perth-born Melbourne-based songwriter Kaitlin Keegan. Kaitlin’s talent for elevating the everyday is turned sideways on Sparrow, peeking out through evocative lyrical fragments like “Outline contours of your soul / the shape makes me feel whole.”

Speaking of the track Tim Shiel says:

"I have always loved the way Leah plays and how she makes her piano sound so intimate and human. This one started when I heard Leah’s track Contact Mic on a compilation of beautiful music put out on Bigo & Twigetti. I became obsessed with the composition of that song and the way it unfolds with intention but also a sense of wide open space. I felt really compelled to see if I could take it somewhere, and eventually that led me to Kaitlin.

Kaitlin’s voice has a stunning purity and directness that embeds reality in everything she sings, and as a songwriter she has a gift for elevating the everyday into something majestic, and that’s a rare gift. In the end, I think we have a song that leaves you thinking about what you want from life, about what’s important. But it also just simply floats if that’s all you need from it. I love when a piece of music can have a few different access points like that - it shapes itself to you and how you feel, not the other way around.”

lyrics

When was the last time you laughed so hard that you cried?
When was the last time you laughed so hard that you cried?

Take me down the longest road
Feel like time has slowed
Outline contours of your soul
The shape makes me feel whole

(When I reel it in the world around me spins
My twin, my kin)
I travel deep and narrow
(When I reel it in the world around me spins
My twin, my kin)
She sours like a sparrow

When was the last time you laughed so hard that you cried?

Take me down the longest road
Feel like going home
From the past or future
It does not matter
(So safe, so safe, so safe, so safe)

Take me down the longest road
Feel like time has slowed
Outline contours of your soul
The shape makes me feel whole

(When I reel it in the world around me spins
My twin, my kin)
I travel deep and narrow
(When I reel it in the world around me spins
My twin, my kin)
She sours like a sparrow

credits

released September 1, 2021
Vocals and lyrics by Kaitlin Keegan
Piano by Leah Kardos
All other music by Tim Shiel

Contains samples of "Contact Mic" by Leah Kardos:
bigoandtwigetti.bandcamp.com/track/contact-mic

Artwork by Tim Shiel
Mastered by Andrei Eremin

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Tim Shiel Melbourne, Australia

Emotional trajectories of sound.

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