Ironically, the six-piece band Sweet Spirit started as a solo project. Austin singer Sabrina Ellis was going through some distressing times: the band that she fronted for several years, Bobby Jealousy, with her then husband was disintegrating along with their relationship. Everything Ellis was working toward was suddenly in free-fall.
She started Sweet Spirit to hone her ability to write and perform on her own. “It was supposed to be focused on me writing solo, and performing with the guitar,” she says. But it didn’t stay that way for long.
When Ellis started Sweet Spirit, she was still writing and performing with her longstanding punk band A Giant Dog. AGD Co-founder Andrew Cashen was intrigued by Ellis’ new emphasis on soul, country and pop music as touchstones, and quickly climbed on board the project. “I’m very comfortable doing loud and fast,” Cashen says, “so this is uncharted territory for me.”
Together Ellis and Cashen began turning out songs at a breakneck pace. They assembled a core band of four more members, rehearsed religiously, and started playing gigs around town. Immediately they began turning heads and packing clubs.
Within six months they had gotten noticed by one of Austin’s most famous musical residents, Britt Daniel of Spoon. In October of 2014, Daniel asked the band to perform at Spoon’s “secret” tour kick off show at the legendary rock club Hotel Vegas, and Sweet Spirit was quickly thrown into the local buzzmill.
That show led to Ellis and Cashen co-writing with Daniel and Spoon inviting Sweet Spirit to tour the Western US with them.
The following year, the band went back into the studio with producer Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Deer Tick, Grupo Fantasma) and recorded their sophomore full-length St. Mojo with it’s breakthrough single “The Power.”
The band did two exhaustive tours to support St. Mojo, made festival appearances all over the U.S., and dropped to subsequent singles. The most recent is the song “Touch,” recorded by GRAMMY winner Stuart Sikes and mixed by acclaimed producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, MGMT). Look for Sweet Spirit’s third full-length record in 2019.