Year in Music 2017

The Lovely Sparrows

The Lovely Sparrows lately seem to be the go-to indie-pop band for artists as they travel through Austin. Opening for acts as diverse as Fleet Foxes, Appleseed Cast and the Black Angels, the group is

The Lovely Sparrows lately seem to be the go-to indie-pop band for artists as they travel through Austin. Opening for acts as diverse as Fleet Foxes, Appleseed Cast and the Black Angels, the group is now poising itself to bust out of its Texan hotbed.

With help from New York-based management/consulting agency the Rebel Group, the Lovely Sparrows will release their first full-length, "Bury the Cynics," Sept. 9. The album was preceded by an Aug. 19 digital release, a Daytrotter session and an interview on NPR's Austin affiliate KUT. Additionally, spin.com debuted the powerful viral video for "Bury the Cynics" track "Year of the Dog," directed by video artist Eric Power.

The music crafted by primary songwriter Shawn Jones has a mix of charm and sadness, and even a little bit of humor amid delicate, acoustic-led pop tracks. "Pop isn't a dirty word for us," says Jones, whose unadorned voice wails through pensive, narrative lyrics. "We mix pop with the sadness. It makes sadness much more manageable," he says with a laugh.

At home in between giving guitar lessons to students at the Austin School of Music, the songwriter is finessing a musical theme of a different sort: He has been commissioned to complete the soundtrack/score for forthcoming documentary "Steve," riffing on a minutelong theme song written for the movie by producer Brian Eno.

"It's a total dream to be working on a soundtrack," he says. "The friend who commissioned me for the job said I'd be perfect for creating something 'creepy and weird.' I thought, well, that's nice."

Jones and his backing band—which consists of anywhere from one to seven people—are slated to perform at September's Pop Montreal festival and are planning a couple of East Coast tour runs.