Sparkadia

Australian indie pop-rock act Sparkadia was originally formed in 2004 by Alex Burnett with friend and drummer Dave Hall, at that time under the moniker The Spark. Two more members were added to the band the next year, creating Sparkadia in 2005. In 2008, the four-piece ensemble released Postcards in Australia, an album that was recorded in London with producer Ben Hiller (Blur, Depeche Mode, The Horrors). Following the release of Postcards, the group went on a world tour playing 200 shows in 18 months and sharing stages with Vampire Weekend, Pet Shop Boys, Hot Hot Heat, Jimmy Eat World, and more.

Shortly after returning from tour in May 2009, band members drifted apart for different reasons, leaving front man Burnett with just a band name. Burnett said of the split, “It was a very strange situation. We had toured for months and months and built things up but then suddenly everyone wanted to do different things.” The lack of band mates didn’t stop Burnett from carrying on with Sparkadia; after all, it was his creation to begin with and Sparkadia had always been more than a band in his mind. “Sparkadia is meant to take you somewhere”, says Burnett. “It sounds like a place you would want to visit – not literally, but a headspace or an alternative world…”

After the split, Burnett traveled from Sydney to Berlin, Stockholm, New York, and Los Angeles, finally calling London his new home. Gaining inspiration from his international journey of discovery and self-realization, Burnett collaborated with songwriter/producer Mark Tieku (Florence and the Machine) in the spring of 2010 to create the debut album, The Great Impression, from the new incarnation of Sparkadia. Burnett played almost all instruments on the album, which included the use of gongs, metal scaffolding, and scrap metal as cymbals, proving that a band is not important in crafting a unique and memorable record.

Now in 2011, Burnett is making a new name for himself with the release of Sparkadia’s The Great Impression on OK!Good Records. The 12 track debut album showcases Burnett’s great skill in songwriting, with definite influence from 80s pop groups. Stylistically, The Great Impression combines retro elements and sprawling, anthemic choruses with evocative lyrics to form a bold work that is heartbreaking and uplifting all at once. “I wanted to write big songs”, says Burnett. “I wanted to go there on The Great Impression and see what would happen. It felt right.” Already a big chart success in his native Australia and growing in popularity in the UK, The Great Impression is all set to make just that on US audiences as well.

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