It’s been at least a decade since a band straight outta’ Austin caught my attention. Then along came Sweet Spirit.

No, Sweet Spirit is not an essay-penning pseudo-Pavement just dying to be noticed on Instagram by Car Seat Headrest.  This noisy 9 piece band swaggers and rocks it and features the enigmatic but full-of-life life front woman,  Sabrina Ellis, who you may already know from A Giant Dog. She absolutely abused her considerably powerful vocal chords in in songs such as “The Power” (a personal anthem of your dear writer) ” in which she to references childhood bowl cuts and being mistaken for a little boy, a bit of lyric which has sparked up some Twitter cults of the “Bowl Cut Gurl” variety where not just anyone can join and grade school bowl cut pictures must be provided. Sweet Spirit embody some descriptors that are quickly fading from the guitar rock landscape, namely “raucous” and “exuberant” and have a penchant for putting out wild nerdy videos.  For the XPONential music fest 2017 Ellis hopped on stage in a pastel one piece swimsuit, a hoodie, cowboy boots, and Elton John shades stolen from a backstage intern.  It’s just the type of showmanship and strut that is massively out of style in this age of shrugging AM ’70s throwbacks, like a delayed echo of Wendy Williams and Sir Mick Jagger beamed in at just the wrong (yet oh so right) time.

Sweet Spirit’s latest track is “Los Lonely Girls”, a play on Los Lonely Boys who actually approved the joke beforehand to their credit. “We were aiming to make it sound like a collaboration between Miley Cyrus and Hall & Oates,” Ellis says of the track, and claims that the Spirit is aiming to incorporate more danceable elements in their upcoming tunes. The song takes some wild swings at social media and attempting to get into the latest fad before it becomes passé, and bears the bold hooks this band possesses in spades that would gain them lots of Clear Channel radio play in a perfect world. Ellis and her fellow Spirits plan on putting out some new stuff in 2019 and hopefully doing some more touring before then. Sweet Spirit does everything in their considerable power to earn that twelve dollar cover fee, so feel free to cough it up should you see that name up on a bill.

Sweet Spirit is but one of a seemingly expanding number of bands springing up in various areas of the country that seem to be going hard against the vanilla, taking ones’ self too seriously grain, injecting some much needed swagger and exuberance into a guitar rock landscape that has been devoid of these aspects far too long.

Tina Romano

Photo courtesy of WXPN, Philadelphia