Josh Pyke is one of Australia’s premier singer/songwriters. Known for his ability to weave intelligent lyrics with warm melodies and quirky song structures, Pyke is a modern-day storyteller whose unique and evocative use of both words and music places him in a league of his own.
Pyke’s breakthrough single was Middle of the Hill, a paean to suburban childhood that struck a chord and catapulted him into the limelight. The track made it to #19 on triple j’s 2005 Hottest 100 countdown and appeared on his debut release, a mini album entitled Feeding The Wolves.
Pyke followed up Feeding The Wolves with the 2007 release of his debut album Memories & Dust which hit the ARIA chart at #4. The Gold record, hailed a “classic” by The Daily Telegraph and “world-class” by The Age, was acclaimed by critics and fans alike. It took out three ARIA Awards, was nominated for a J Award and yielded the singles Memories & Dust, Lines On Palms, Fed And Watered, Sew My Name and Forever Song.
Its 2008 follow-up was Chimney’s Afire, an album that equaled the success of its predecessor and firmly established Pyke at the forefront of music in Australia. Chimney’s Afire debuted at #3 on the ARIA chart, won an ARIA Award and has also achieved Gold sales. Its singles received airplay across the country, and the guitar boat created for Pyke’s Make You Happy video was broadcast all over the world. After co-producing his debut album with renowned producer Wayne Connolly, Pyke went it alone on Chimney’s Afire, recording and producing the bulk of the album himself.
Following the release of Chimney’s Afire, a lot of changes took place in his life – he started playing in a band again after eight years as a solo artist and he became a father for the first time. Much of the material for ONLY SPARROWS was written before either of these major changes took place, so by the time it came to really thinking about his third record, he felt a little removed from his solo career, and an element of self-doubt began to creep in to his craft. It was then he decided to head to New York to clear his head do some “writing and walking and thinking”.
That renewed enthusiasm for songwriting manifests itself on ONLY SPARROWS, an album full to bursting with the sound of an artist who has adopted a new approach to not only his music, but life in general. The notion that we’re all a part of something bigger than ourselves colours the record, from the lyrics and music right through to the album title and artwork by James Hancock.