The first time we heard Spark our immediate thoughts were similar to when we first heard Marina and the Diamonds - there was definitely something there, perhaps not fully realised yet, but her songs ooze with slightly left of centre pop potential. It therefore seems highly appropriate that Spark has just finished a series of support slots with Marina and is due to release her debut single Shut Out the Moon on July 12th.
Spark is not this 18 year old London based singers real name - that’s Jess Morgan, although apparently her stage name is derived from her middle name; Sparkle. Her parents dreamed that up following her water birth. Her father had gushed that she ‘sparkled in the water’. Now she hopes to sparkle on stage. Her savvy theatrical (Brit School ?) pop has hints of a hipper Paloma Faith on Revolving and on the celestial Damage Done - a song that you hear once and feel like you’ve known it forever - there’s just a tiny bit of a sweet and gentle Lily Allen or Jem (anyone remember her ?).
Our critique is that she has some pretty good songs. Which is a shame because Spark doesn’t particularly like the idea of critics as a job. “They search for the bad instead of the good - at least that’s what the job title suggests,” she rants on her blog. So that discounts us as a critic from the perspective of Spark then. Most blogs take roles of finding mainly good stuff, although sometimes an expression of disproval is required, if only to give a gauge of measurement of the great against the bad. She does however admit that “I have personal issues with other people forcing their opinions and beliefs on others.” We’re not quite sure if a critic forces their beliefs on others, more that they put them out there for others to consume if they want, but we understand her positive sentiment. We suspect however that she’s going to have to get used to dealing with those issues as her career gets underway.
The aforementioned Shut Out the Moon is the opening gambit in the world of music from Spark. A fertile piece of pop that could sit comfortably on daytime radio with its cascades of piano, mature sounding vocal and an over and over repeated title. It's a minor victory. You can pre-order it here. Just don’t confuse Spark with Sparks - this town is certainly big enough for both of them.
Here’s some live crowd footage of Spark on her recent Marina and the Diamonds support dates.