Home Uncategorized Review: Sparky’s Magic Piano – Never Twice the Same Colour

Review: Sparky’s Magic Piano – Never Twice the Same Colour


With a name like Sparky’s Magic Piano, you might be thinking “I don’t know if I can get into this band based on the Sesame Street name alone.” Forget that. How judgmental of you! Throw all expectations out the door because this is a band absolutely worth listening to. Over and over again in fact.

The first track, “Tiny Shiny Shoes,” sets off a bittersweet, celebratory tone for the rest of “Never Twice the Same Colour.” Sounds of heartbreak, broken dreams, shattered relationships, and eventually, all leading to other songs on the album that discuss going through each others phones.

Take the poetic sentiment of The Cure and combine it with a spooky Chromatics ambiance and you get Sparky’s Magic Piano. The chemistry is so strong between Oli Bartlett and Marion Bartlett, that one would assume they are married. And that’s because they are. Go figure.

Sparky’s Magic Piano are a London-based indie pop duo composed of husband/wife Oli Bartlett and Marion Bartlett. The project derives its name from an episode of a 1947 Capitol Records audio story starring Bozo the Clown’s sidekick, an imaginative young boy named Sparky. Sparky’s Magic Piano’s debut full-length, Feel the Beat and Do It Anyway! were released on the band’s homegrown label, back in 2007. Which only adds to desired return to make music again. The time taken away from their artistry has strengthened their sound as well as their relationship.

Give a listen to “Last Supper.” Arguably one of the happier songs on this album, and yet, the ironic lyrics and slightly sinister tone make it stand out due to its diverted and funny nature.

Following a long break, the band returned to release their follow up album Never Twice the Same Colour in 2022. The album follows a similar recipe of home recording and producing, this time with a vocal booth made of drain pipes and curtains rather than in a hollowed out wardrobe. 

“Hanging for the Bang” is a wonderful treat of suffered silence, being in a state of feeling like a fallen star, distant and cold in a world where all you wish is to have someone there for you. “Hold back, don’t let him see you crack” is sung with Debbie Harry astonishment and Marion’s vocals are so sublime you pray that the band continues to make more somber music. Give it a listen below!

I really suggest that you check out “Someone from There.” Not just for the mellow, midwestern emo style guitar work, or the enchanting woodwind instrumental, but because it creates such a strong mood. Sparky’s Magic Piano really succeeds at having that early 2000’s late 90’s “let’s get jazzy and fun with our sadness” in the ways Norah Jones succeeded. This band has a bright future ahead of them and they know it… as long as they remember to keep changing their colors.


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