Gentle Sparrow – Only Love in My Heart (Track Review)

Written by Pat Moran

Amid coils of chiming guitar and Robbie Teehan’s grainy tenor, “Only Love in My Heart” begins like a prayer.

“May I be strong and/May I be brave/May I overcome/The challenges I face”

Guitar-driven introspective folk is a touchstone for Teehan, who writes and performs as Gentle Sparrow, but so too are lush chamber pop and sprightly indie rock. 

Like players in an intimate character-driven drama, additional instruments make entrances and exits. Luminescent piano freefalls through Teehan’s hazy vocals, which he doubles with swarming harmonies. Next, spectral whistling reverberates as lowing violin sweeps into the picture, riding subliminal contrails of grainy electric guitar.

As Teehan’s voice builds in brio, the accompanying instruments kick up the volume. A yearning chorus repeats the song’s title. With that repetitive recitative, the Ontario-based singer-songwriter encapsulates his song: cozy but confident , intimate but universal.

“The way of the body/The way of the spirit/The song in the middle/May I always hear it”

After being pulled to a crescendo by booming drums, the backing track dissolves like a half-remembered dream and Teehan’s affirmation comes to the forefront. It’s an earnest yet embracing secular hymn.

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