Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds celebrate the release of their new album The Weather Below.
If it’s hard to put your finger on what Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds sounds like, it’s because they’re one of a kind. The group combines the best of soul & rock to create an astonishing hybrid of original bluesy ditties. Lead by Arleigh Kincheloe (the Sister Sparrow) and backed by her flock of dudes (The Dirty Birds), the group continues on the up and up with their new Ryan Hadlock-produced album out today while juggling a crazy touring schedule. Arleigh Kincheloe took a moment to chat with BreatheHeavy.com about their new release (stream for free and/or buy here).
How would you describe your sound?
We do something like hard soul which is not really a normal term (laughs), but we definitely get a little harder… especially in the live show it’s super high energy and loud and fun and dancey. A couple of things that set us apart would be the instrumentation which is unique. We have a horn section and a harmonica player. (she pauses a moment to clarify it’s her brother that plays the harmonica). He kind of takes the role of an organ player as well. It’s like this totally different sound.
Tell us about your first single, “Mama Knows.”
I was with my sister in L.A., and I had this idea for the melody. I wanted to have a real message behind it, something that really means something, that everybody can get behind because everybody’s got a mom. Or had one at one point. That’s something that can be taken for granted of. My parents are the reason why I got into music. I feel like I owe a lot to my mom for raising me the way she did. Why we released it first… I think it shows a little bit of everything that we do. A little bit of soul, little bit of rock. It’s a nice middle ground for us in terms of what this record has in store.
You followed it up with your second single titled “Sugar.”
I also wrote it in L.A. right around the same time as “Mama Knows.” I was reminiscing about being a 19-year-old and having a first kiss with this person – just a fun little story from being a younger girl – it’s super fun and conveying the excitement of making out with someone for the first time (laughs).
Any third single choice?
I’m not really sure. I’m really proud of this record as a whole. It’s hard for me to pick one song. Even when we had to pick the single, I was like ‘I’m too close to it to pick it.’ I don’t have a lot of perspective. So we have people to help us choose which one they think would be better suited for radio. I’d say one of my favorites from the album is the song “We Need A Love.” I don’t know if that would be a single – I just like it.
How do you deal with the crazy touring schedule?
We’ve been doing that crazy schedule for like four years now. It’s been a learning process for sure. In the beginning it was a lot harder just to get used to it. It was just such a shock to everybody’s systems. Just physically it’s really challenging. Now I find I feel more normal when I’m on the road then I do when I’m off. We work more than we don’t work which is great. I actually really love that. Keeping busy is really important. Playing a lot of the shows is the goal. This summer’s gonna be really cool cause we’re doing a ton of festivals, and I love doing that in the summer time. Beautiful weather, get to travel all around the country. People are in such a good mood. The more festivals the better.
Do you sacrifice anything because you’re working so much?
Absolutely, yes. It’s hard [finding] a living space. A lot of us have temporary living spaces to stay when we’re back home because it doesn’t really make sense to pay rent all the time when you’re not going to be in your place, and having a normal schedule, or working out, eating healthy. It takes a lot of discipline to do that. And in terms of having relationships, it becomes really difficult to do that. You have to be really dedicated if you want to go down that path. That’s OK, because I’m definitely putting my career first. Sometimes that’s a good sacrifice to make, especially when you’re younger.
What’s your life mantra?
I take every day at a time in itself. For me it’s really important to take every day and get the most out of that day. Because a lot of times we’re in a different city every single day. It’s easy to have a bad day here and there, but for me to make sure I make the most out of every single day because you never know. We’re playing music to somebody new every day, and I try to give them the best I can.