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Struggle Pretty

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iTunes Review

Andy Baxter has a voice you suspect could fill an auditorium, but he’d just as soon let it float from a chapel rafter or out a barn door. The Texan singer/songwriter is half of Penny & Sparrow, with guitarist Kyle Jahnke his erstwhile guitarist and musical partner. Their first album, 2013’s Tenboom, made great bedfellows with the likes of Mumford & Sons, Bon Iver, and even Iron and Wine, full of quiet spaces and palpable introspection. Struggle Pretty is no different, but perhaps it's a shade more soulful and solid. Baxter is an ace lyricist, and he wears his heart and self-criticism like a badge: “I’m not proud of me/So how could you ever be?” and “I wanna learn to hollow out” are a few of the moving moments here, delivered with a brokenness that's not yet beyond repair. “Bread and Bleeding” feels like a big radio tune waiting in the wings, with soaring, swelling guitars and strings, effervescent percussion, and tidal cellos reflecting bouts of hope. Quieter moments like “Rattle” and “To Haunt, to Startle” hover in the air on muted tympani and piano, strings quivering with uncertainty. A near-flawless collection of intimate, beautiful music.

Customer Reviews


You don’t even have to know who these guys are. Just buy the album and go sit down somewhere outside. Let the music do the rest. They evoke emotions that normally lay dormant.

Beautiful music

Some of the best songwriting I have ever heard. The vocals by both of these guys are amazing. Both albums blow me away, powerful, beautiful, and enjoyable music I could listen to all the time.


This album is breathtaking. I can't get enough of it..these guys have a true gift. Their songs dig deep. In this empty world, this is what we need.


Formed: 2011 in Austin, TX

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '10s

Indie folk singer/songwriter duo Penny & Sparrow formed in 2011 while members Andy Baxter and Kyle Jahnke were living as roommates at the University of Texas in Austin. Inspired by acts like the Swell Season, Bon Iver, and Mumford & Sons, the two friends began writing and singing together, creating simple acoustic arrangements and recording on a laptop. Their first effort, a three-song EP called Creature, introduced the warm, sincere balladry that would become their calling card. Their debut album,...
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Struggle Pretty, Penny & Sparrow
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Customer Ratings