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Recorded and mixed by Shane O’Mara at Yikesville Studio, Yarraville over last spring and our current summer. It’s a collection of songs I’ve been working on over the last few years - primarily written by myself, with one co-write from “Evil” Graham Lee (The Triffids | The Blackeyed Susans)

SPARROW & SWAN sees a gravitational pull towards the narrative, a change in direction and a newfound song writing process. Conversations turn into song, late night tales become the tunes - there are stories here from Brisbane cab drivers, girls from Belfast ‘74 in search of Van Morrison, football players and their protégés, relationships sparked in TABs, sightings of Robert Mitchum at Mitcham Station, a sailor in search of Helsinki ...and the weather - there’s always the weather, the extremities ~ the sun burning a hole in the sky or snow falling upon ancient ice ...and birds - what’s with the birds?

A delightful cast of musicians contributed to the recording of the album - including the vocal talents of songstress and singer extraordinaire Rebecca Barnard, along with the wonderkinds - Jane and Kelly aka Broads, the nimble fingers of Kiernan Box on piano, organ and accordion, along with both Ben Franz and Rosie Westbrook on double bass, and king tub thumper Ben Wiesner on drums and percussion. Add to this Shane O’Mara’s distinctive, intricate guitar work and production and the musical palette lies somewhere between Havana and Helsinki ~ think a cuban cigar with a liquorice ice cream.

The first single ALL GOD'S CREATURES is available here for your listening pleasure.

ALL GOD’S CREATURES takes a stroll through a dramatic Australian summer day where our seasons clash big time, “the heat shakes the air ...and the rain vows to kiss the ground” ... and somehow within the struggle of grander ideas ~ the science of climate and the existence of a God.

Tracklisting:

1. Sparrow and Swan
2. Robert Mitchum at Mitcham Station
3. All God's Creatures
4. Chasing Van
5. Number 44
6. Equine Dreaming
7. That Whole Summer Long
8. Conversation with a Brisbane Cab Driver
9. Have You Ever Been To Helsinki?

Sparrow & Swan is a brilliant album. Snarski has produced his best work to date and one of the best albums of the year - 9/10
[Spill Magazine | Canada]

One thing is clear Snarski is a born singer-songwriter, savouring subtle narrative details as much as every sumptuous syllable of his phrasing.
[The Weekend Australian]

Last night I saw Rob Snarski sing an eight minute song about two girls in Belfast crossing the peace lines in search of Van Morrison. If there’s a better song going around I’d like to hear it.
[Mick Thomas]

The voice is, as always, treacle poured on warm oats but the stories of Sparrow and Swan will keep you sated for days. A record that will have you wandering outside, adrift of time and geography, happy as a lark.
[Tim Rogers]


Artwork by  Madeleine Stamer

Artwork by Madeleine Stamer


SPARROW AND SWAN

CREEKS AND RIVERS LOOK LIKE VEINS

CRACKS IN THE PLAINS FROM WAY UP HIGH

CLOUDS DRIFT WITHOUT A SOUND

CAST THEIR SHADOWS ON THE GROUND, WISPS OF WHITE

THE ROAD’S A BROKEN STRING, HIGHWAY BLACK RIBBON

ROLLING, ROLLING, ROLLING AND ROLLING, ROLLING ON

FEATHERS GLISTEN IN THE SUN

OF A LONE BLACK SWAN THAT GLIDES ALONG THE SHALLOWS

PAST THE LILLIES AND THE REEDS, BLUEBELLS AND WEEDS

TOWARDS THE WILLOW

SHE’S SEARCHING FOR HER KIN, SENDING RIPPLES AND RINGS

RISING, RISING, RISING AND FALLING

THE SPARROWS IN THE CITY SQUARE

SKIP AWAY FROM YOUR ONCOMING SHADOW

THEY’VE FORGOTTEN YOUR STRIDE

STILL I GUESS IT’S BEEN A WHILE SINCE YOU SAW THEM

NOW YOU’RE TOSSING THEM CRUSTS AND CRUMBS

STANDING IN THE MORNING SUN, THEY GATHER BY YOUR SHOES

ONE BY ONE, ONE BY ONE, ONE BY ONE

THE CLAMOUR OF THE CITY STREETS

SEEMS TO LIFT THE PACE OF THOSE OUT WALKING

SUITS GO RUSHING BY, BUILDINGS TOUCH THE SKY

STILL NO-ONE’S TALKING

WE RACE ALONG THE AVENUE

IT’S SO COLD YOUR LIPS TURN BLUE

THEN THE SHOW STARTS FALLING,

ONE BY ONE, ONE BY ONE, ONE BY ONE

RISING, RISING, RISING AND FALLING

ONE BY ONE, ONE BY ONE, ONE BY ONE

ROBERT MITCHUM AT MITCHAM STATION

IT’S A SHAME MITCHAM STATION WASN’T NAMED AFTER ROBERT

IF ONLY THEY COULD CHANGE ONE LITTLE VOWEL

IT’S WHO I THINK OF WHEN THE TRAIN STOPS OUT THIS WAY

THERE’S NOTHING TOO HOLLYWOOD OUT HERE ANY WAY

WHAT USED TO BE ROSE GARDENS, PERFUMES AND POTIONS AND ORANGE GROVES

NOW THERE’S TALL GREY WALLS, SECURITY LIGHTS

COMMUTER COMMUTE AND FIGHT THE FIGHT

FRIENDS ARE SHOOTIN’ THE BREEZE AND SCROLLING THEIR PHONES

AND DREAMING THEIR DREAMS

THERE’S TAGS ON THE FENCES BY A VACANT PARK

JACARANDAS LINE THE STREET BY THE OLD MILK BAR

IF ONLY THEY COULD CHANGE ONE LITTLE VOWEL

LADIES WITH BOUFFANTS AND BEEHIVES IN FLORAL DRESSES OR PLEATED SKIRTS

WORN IN THE DAY

SOME MIGHT’VE DREAMT ABOUT HIM ALONG THE WAY TO THEIR OFFICE JOBS

ROMANTIC NOTIONS, CONSEQUENCES, THE AFTERMATH

WILLA HARPER, NACY BOWDEN, MAX CADY WOULD’VE HAD A LAUGH

THERE’S SOME UNSAVOURY CHARACTERS OUT HERE ON THIS LINE

MISCHIEF, FISTFIGHTS AND PETTY CRIME

IF ONLY THEY COULD CHANGE ONE LITTLE VOWEL

THERE’S A YOUNG GIRL LEANING UP AGAINST A MAN

HE’S GOT A TATTOO DOWN HIS ARM

THEY’RE TALKING WHO OWES WHO, FOR WHAT AND FOR WHEN

AND LOST FRIENDS INSIDE

THEY’RE PLANNING ON THAT BIG MOVE REAL SOON, FAR AWAY FROM THE LINE

NO MORE HOPELESS EXCUSES, NO MORE FOOLISH MISTAKES,

NO MORE LIEING AND CRYING

NOW SHE’S SMILING AT THE RING ON HER FINGER, GAZING UP INTO HIS EYES

HE’S PROMISING TO LASSO THE MOON, AS SHE HOLDS HIM TIGHT

WELL THAT SMILE IT COULD CRUSH OR SAVE YOU OR KEEP YOUR HOPES ALIVE

A POCKETFUL OF DREAMS IT’S GONNA HAPPEN THIS TIME

A POCKETFUL OF DREAMS, NO MORE LIEING AND CRYING

IF ONLY THEY COULD CHANGE ONE LITTLE VOWEL

IT’S WHO I THINK OF WHEN THE TRAIN STOPS OUT THIS WAY

THERE’S NOTHING TOO HOLLYWOOD OUT HERE ANY WAY

IT’S A SHAME MITCHAM STATION WASN’T NAMED AFTER ROBERT

ALL GOD’S CREATURES

THE HEAT SHAKES THE AIR AS IT RISES FROM THE GROUND

THE SHADOWS FROM THE TREES SHIFT WITH THE BREEZE WITHOUT A SOUND

BUGS AND THE BEES, FLOWERS AND THE TREES CLOSE AROUND YOU

AS THE HEAT SHAKES THE AIR

AGAPANTHUS, DANDELIONS REACH OUT TOWARDS THE SUN

THE WILLOW WEEPS ALONG THE CREEK SENSING THAT THE SPELL HAS JUST BEGUN

DRAGONFLIES AND BIRDS OF PREY AWAKEN TO A BRAND NEW DAY

AS THE HEAT SHAKES THE AIR

GRASS SEEDS CLING ONTO YOUR CLOTHES THEY’RE HANGING OFF THEM WEARY BONES

IT’S 29 THERE IN THE SHADE, WELCOME TO A SUMMER’S DAY

CICADAS DRONE THEIR LONESOME SONG THAT FOLLOWS YOU UNTIL YOU’RE HOME

AS THE HEAT SHAKES THE AIR

THUNDER’S CRACKING OVERHEAD AFFIRMATION OF A CHANGE

THE MERCURY DROPS AND THE SEASONS CLASH AGAIN

CLOUDS WRAP THEMSELVES AROUND THE SUN RELIEF FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE

AS THE HEAT SHAKES THE AIR

NOW THE RAIN HAS VOWED TO KISS THE GROUND

FOR ALL GOD’S CREATURES

CHASING VAN

TWO GREEN-EYED GIRLS SO FOOLISH, FOOLISH AND FAIR

THEY CHANGED THEIR NAMES AND THEY CHANGED THEIR HAIR

THERE’S NO CHANCE IN THE WORLD THAT ANYONE COULD RECOGNISE US HERE

COATS GLEANING LIKE TWO BOWER BIRDS, LOCKS LIKE A COCKATOO

BLUFFING YOUR WAY IN, RISKING YOUR SKIN

BRAVE AND STUPID, ANXIOUS, SANGUINE

EAST, WEST, NORTH AND SOUTH, IRON, BRICK AND STEEL

NO RED SPORTS CAR, NO MADAME GEORGE

NO T.B. SHEETS, NO SPANISH ROSE,

NOT A SPANISH ROSE

CHASING VAN

HALFWAY DOWN THE ROAD, BEYOND THE FALLS AND SHANKHILL

THE MOUNTAIN DEW, THE WOLF AND THE WHISTLE

THE DUKE OF YORK, THE OWL AND THE THISTLE

OUR LADY OF GRACES DANGLING ON A CHAIN

LITTLE GOLDEN NOOSE, TELLIN’ ALL YOUR FAITH

THE MEDAL MIRACULOUS, THE MEDAL MIRACULOUS

MIRACULOUS, TELLIN’ ALL YOUR FAITH

SWEET ANNIE AND BELLA, GIRLS YOU BETTER FILL YOUR LUNGS

WITH THE COLD NIGHT AIR, BETTER SCOOT OFF QUICK

LICKETY SPLIT, LICKETY SPLIT, LICKETY SPLIT, BETTER SCOOT OFF QUICK

CHASING VAN

WELL YOU’VE NEVER SEEN TWO GIRLS RUN SO FAST

IN THEIR COATS AND THEIR BOOTS AND THEIR SKINNERS

THEY’RE TEARING THROUGH THE AIR, FLYING OVER THE RUBBLE AND THE DEBRIS

THEY’RE RACING FOR THE PEACELINE

NOW THE SOLDIER BOYS ARE CHEERING THEM ON,

THEY’RE STANDING OUT IN THE MIZZLY RAIN

THEY’RE RACING FOR THE PEACELINE

NO-ONE WANTS TO SEE NO BLOODY POOL,

NO-ONE WANTS TO SEE YOU BEATEN BLACK AND BLUE

THE FEAR AND THE FAITH AND THE FIGHT

WELL IT DOES THE STRANGEST AND CRUELEST THINGS TO YOU

TWO GIRLS THEY’RE EMPTYING THEIR STOMACHS IN THE STREETS

SPLATTERING WARM GUINNESS AT THEIR FEET

LEGS SO WOODEN AND SO NUMB, HEAD JUST LIKE LIKE A STONE,

NOW THEY’RE STUMBLING AND WEAVING ALONG THE STREETS

TRYING TO FIND A SAFE WAY HOME

WELL WHO SAVED YOU GIRLS TONIGHT?

WHO WAS IT THAT SAVED YOU GIRLS TONIGHT?

WAS IT AN APPARITION? WAS IT THE APPARITION?

CHASING VAN

SOMETHING LIKE THAT SOMETHING LIKE THAT SOMETHING LIKE THAT

SWEET ANNIE AND BELLA

CHASING VAN

SOMETHING LIKE THAT SOMETHING LIKE THAT SOMETHING LIKE THAT

HERE COMES THE NIGHT

WHEN THE HEALING HAS BEGUN

I WANT TO COMFORT YOU

CHASING VAN

NUMBER 44

I WORE NUMBER 44 TO HONOUR HIS NAME

I WORE NUMBER 44 TO MARK THE YEARS HE’D BEEN WITH US

WELL HE TAUGHT ME TO KICK, TO HANDBALL AND MARK

HE SHOWED ME THE GAME TAUGHT ME TO TACKLE FAIR AND HARD

I‘D POLISH MY BOOTS TILL I COULD SEE MY OWN FACE

BLACK AS THE FEATHER OF A SWAN

EAGER TO RUN OUT THAT RACE

I WAS FIERCE AND DETERMINED I WAS WIN AT ALL COSTS

I WAS HARD AND I WAS BRUTAL, WIN, DRAW OR LOSS

I WORE NUMBER 44 TO HONOUR HIS NAME

I WORE NUMBER 44 TO MARK THE YEARS HE’D BEEN WITH US

ADRENALINE COURSING ALL DOWN MY VEINS

HOOPS OVER STRIPES AND THE BOYS THEY CHRISTENED ME AGAIN

ROLL OFF YOUR TONGUE AUSTRALIAN VERNACULAR

A NAME DISAPPROVED OFF BY MY FATHER AND MY MOTHER

I WORE NUMBER 44 TO HONOUR HIS NAME

I WORE NUMBER 44 TO MARK THE YEARS HE’D BEEN WITH US

BEFORE FRED I COULDN’T EVEN CATCH A COLD

MY SPORTING PROWESS WELL IT WAS DISMAL AT BEST

HE TOOK ME UNDER HIS WING AND HE TAUGHT ME THE GAME

WE’D TALK TACTICS ON THE TRAIN ON THE WAY HOME EACH SATURDAY

COACHES MOVES, PLAYERS WHO’D IMPROVED OR WHO NEED TO

WE WERE EXPERTS IN HINDSIGHT, TWO EXPERTS IN HINDSIGHT

TRUE EXPERTS IN HINDSIGHT

NOW I’M RUNNING OFF A HALF-BACK FLANK BREAKING THROUGH THE LINES

SAILING OVER FIELDS OF GREEN, BREAKING THROUGH THE LINES

RUNNING OFF A HALF-BACK FLANK BREAKING THROUGH THE LINES

NO FEAR OR PAIN, NO FEAR

NO FEAR OF PAIN, NO FEAR

EQUINE DREAMING

HE FOUND HER AT THE TAB IN PASCOE VALE

PLACING BETS ON A COLD, GRIM AFTERNOON

ROYAL RANDWICK, MOONEY VALLEY AND EAGLE FARM

WINS AND PLACES, EACH WAY BETS, THE SAME OLD TUNE

THE NIGHT BEGINS THE STARS ALIGN THEIR WORLDS COLLIDE

BOTH GAZING AT THE SCREEN ACROSS THE ROOM

ALSO RANS, SQUANDERED CASH, THEY CATCH A TRAM

CLUTCHING TICKETS BY A BRUISED AND BATTERED MOON

HOW COULD THEY KNOW THEY WOULD MEET?

HE SANG VERDI TO HER LATE THAT NIGHT

AND SPOKE OF DREAMS BY CANDLELIGHT
HE’D PAWNED HIS FATHER’S VIOLIN

WHEN HE LEFT HIS WORLD HE LOST HIS KIN

TO SAIL UNTO THIS DISTANT LAND

IT’S BIG BLUE SKIES, THE SUN AND SAND

HE LEFT BEHIND THE WORLD HE KNEW

IT’S ANCIENT STREETS, THE SEA SO BLUE

FIRST HE LOST HIS JOB, THEN HE LOST HIS FRIENDS

THEN HE LOST HIMSELF TO WINE AND GIN

DREAMS FADE AWAY AND HOPE RUNS DRY

UNTIL TODAY, UNTIL TONIGHT

HOW COULD THEY KNOW THAT THEY WOULD MEET?

NOW THEY’RE LIVING BACK IN HIS HOMETOWN OF VIESTE

ON THE COAST OF THE ADRIATIC SEA

AND ALL IT TOOK WAS THAT LAST RACE

A MOMENT IN A TIME AND PLACE

HER OPEN HEART AND BRAVE BIG DREAMS

NO LAKE OF TEARS, NO MISERY

A CHANCE ENCOUNTER, A CONVERSATION

EQUINE DREAMING, THIS ABERRATION

LONGING FOR THEIR HORSE TO WIN

YEARNING FOR THE RACE TO END

HOW COULD THEY KNOW THAT THEY WOULD MEET?

THAT WHOLE SUMMER LONG

I THOUGHT YOU MIGHT BE DOWN AT THE STATION

OR HANGING WITH YOUR FRIENDS IN THE MALL

LAYING ‘NEATH THE SHADE OF THOSE TALL WILTING TREES

BUT I CAN’T FIND A TRACE, NO NOTHING AT ALL

SO I RODE MY BIKE OUT BY THE RIVER

WAITED FOR YOU UNDER THE BRIDGE

SAW MY SISTER’S FRIENDS ON THE ROPE SWING

I COULDN’T STAND THE HEAT SO I DIVED RIGHT ON IN

I LISTENED TO YOU BREATH AND MOVE

WHEN YOU STAYED IN MY SISTER’S ROOM

HOPING THAT YOU’D STAY ALL EVENING

THEN I HEARD YOU GET DRESSED

GIVE HER A GOODBYE KISS

I COULDN’T UNDERSTAND

SO I LOST MYSELF OUT IN THE MEADOW

WANDERED WITH MY SHADOW AND THOUGHTS

THEN I SAW YOU SKIMMING STONES WITH YOUR NEW LOVE

AH THOSE STONES THEY SANK LIKE MY HEART

NOW SUMMER’S STRETCHING DEEP INTO APRIL

THIS SENSE OF LOSS WELL IT’S LINGERING ON

I TRIED TO HIDE THE TRUTH FROM MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS

I PINED FOR YOU THAT WHOLE SUMMER LONG

CONVERSATION WITH A BRISBANE CAB DRIVER

NEVER THOUGHT I’D STAY IN NEW DELHI

I HAD AN INKLING AND AN ITCH

NEVER THOUGHT I’D BE A CAB DRIVER,

DRIVING THROUGH THESE BRISBANE STREETS SIX DAYS A WEEK

I PREPARE MEALS IN THE EVENINGS JUST TO MAKE ENDS MEET

BUTTER CHICKEN AND ROGAN JOSH

SOME PREFER THE SWEET, I PREFER THE HEAT

DOCTOR’S SAID I’D NEVER WALK AGAIN

FRACTURED VERTEBRAE, BROKE MY BACK

SLID OFF A BRIDGE, DOWN AN EMBANKMENT ON MY MOTORBIKE

WELL THEY FOUND ME THERE BY THE RIVER’S EDGE STILL BREATHING

NO MORPHINE, NO CODEINE, NO ALCOHOL, NO MEAT

NO MORPHINE, NO JUNKFOOD, NO ALCOHOL, NO MEAT

I SEND MONEY BACK ONCE A WEEK TO MY PARENTS AND FAMILY

IT’S MY DUTY AS THEIR SON THEY DON’T HAVE MUCH BUT THEY’RE HAPPY

I DO WHAT I DO WHAT I CAN DO

MY DOCTORATE WASN’T RECOGNISED HERE BY THE FEW I KNEW

SO I DO, WHAT I KNOW I CAN DO

I’M SO GRATEFUL JUST TO BE HERE

STILL BREATHING

FRANGIPANI, JACARANDA, SPRING HILL, FLAME TREE, ZILLMERE, ASHGROVE, NEW FARM, FIG TREE POCKET, PONCIANA, WOOLLOONGABBA, TENNYSON, NEBO MOUNTAIN, BRACKEN RIDGE, SUNNYBANK, TARRAGINDI, FORTITUDE VALLEY, EIGHT MILE PLAINS, BRISBANE AIRPORT

I’M STILL BREATHING

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO HELSINKI?

THE NIGHT FALLS ON HELSINKI

THE WORLD HAS FROZEN OVER

THE ICE IS OLD, FRESH SNOW FALLS FROM WAY UP HIGH

THE LIGHT GLOW FROM THE STREET LIGHTS

THROW COLOUR INTO SPACE

THE AIR BITES AT YOUR FINGER TIPS AND NUMBS YOUR FACE

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO HELSINKI WHEN IT SNOWS?

I’M SAILING FROM ST. PETERSBURG

I’M WISHING ON A STAR

THE SEA LOOKS LIKE A BLANKET

THAT’S MADE OF GLASS

THE CITY LIES BEFORE ME

IT’S COLOUR AND IT’S GRACE

I’VE WAITED FOR A LIFETIME FOR OUR EMBRACE

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO HELSINKI WHEN IT SNOWS?

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO HELSINKI WHEN IT SNOWS?

NOR HAVE I

LYRICS BY ROB SNARSKI (MUSHROOM PUBLISHING)