Before joining forces, the duo behind Sgt. Splendor were already formidable solo artists, Kate Vargas chalking up acclaim at outlets like NPR, SPIN, and Vice (including praise from the “Dean of American Rock Critics” Robert Christgau); and Eric McFadden amassing an impressive resume including stints on guitar with George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars, Fishbone’s Angelo Moore, and Eric Burdon & The Animals, plus a slew of solo albums, and session work with everyone from Jackson Browne to The Clash’s Joe Strummer.
Sgt. Splendor’s intoxicating chemistry on the new album has its roots not just in enduring friendships, but also in the love and connection of its creative partners, Vargas and McFadden. After circling each other’s orbits for a time, they finally met at a songwriting retreat hosted by Pat MacDonald (of Timbuk 3 / “Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades” fame) in Sturgeon Bay, WI, initially bonding over yet another parallel, a New Mexico upbringing. Their Southwestern roots upbringing come through with Sgt. Splendor—combining mysterioso desert and carnivalesque Waits-ian vibe.
“Sgt. Splendor’s debut album ‘Occasions for Self-Congratulations’ is utterly contagious”
-Chloe Maddren, HAPPY Mag