By Poppy Tohill
Released July 11th, 2014
Despite first breaking into the music scene in 2012, with their debut single 'Let Me Down Easy,' which created a few ripples here and there on a number of radio stations, the Brisbane based indie/pop band,Sheppard have returned in full force, seemingly appearing from nowhere, with an exceptional hit single, 'Geronimo' from their superb debut album 'Bombs Away.'
Releasing their self titled debut EP, in 2013, their follow up debut album which was released earlier this year, is one hell of a strong release, that easily proves just why the whole world are currently going crazy to the beat of Sheppard's drum.
The hit single and album opener, 'Geronimo' has been certified 3x platinum in Australia, charted in 12 different countries around the world, and become the #1 most played song in Italy. The single also broke the record for having the longest run at #1 for an independent release in Australia. Considering all of this, it quickly becomes pretty obvious that not much more is needed to be said, to prove just how sensational the poppy number one hit truly is.
However, the entire album should definitely not just be based on this one single, as each track offers something excellently different and more captivating from the last. The next track, 'Something's Missing,'begins with the subtle yet masterful finger picking of the guitar and smooth vocals, soon to be accompanied by the beat of the drums and harmonies, that build their way up to yet another catchy rhythm, that is bound to get stuck in your head.
'Let Me Down Easy' brings us back to where the Sheppard obsession began. A lot of artists I have talked to say that happy songs are the hardest to write, but Sheppard have just nailed it down to a fine art, producing yet another toe-tapping, delightful tune. The hook has a beautiful harmonious arrangement, with simple instrumentation that is enough to warm your heart right through and bring a very broad smile to your face, not to mention making you want to sing along at the top of your lungs.
'These People' is another feel good track that touches on the subject of negative people, with a sweet and delicate melody.
It's rare that you see a band that shares around the duties of who gets to sing, but Sheppard it seems, are one's for sharing, showcasing just how talented both Amy & George Sheppard are. Sure, George takes the lead on the majority of the tracks, but when it gets to 'A Grade Playa,' Amy belts out the lyrics like there's no tomorrow, proving that George isn't the only Sheppard sibling who can belt out a tune and hold a note.
'A Smile,' showcases the bands force of power pop once more, before slowing it down slightly with the pleasant and soothing 'The Best Is Yet To Come.' George takes the reigns on vocals once more, as he sings softly, displaying a more tender, emotional and delicate side to his voice, then taken over by Amy who delivers one of the last verses, beautifully.
'This Electric Feeling' is a slightly different vibe for the group, however nonetheless great than the tracks before as George completely steps back and lets the ladies take the toll on this one.
Returning to their upbeat, pop sound, 'Find Someone' is a jaunty, electric track that brings back the groups happy, youthful vulnerability that we all love.
Slowly brining the album to an end, 'Lingering,' has all the aspects of a sweet and pretty lullaby that will undoubtedly make you think about life a little. Beginning with a soft, acoustic rhythm, George soon joins in, singing a beautifully soothing and delicate melody. With a touch of backing vocals from Amy, this tune, simple yet mesmerising showcases a more dainty and soft side to Sheppard that is truly enchanting.
The album closing track, 'Halfway To Hell,' is truly remarkable track and a very smart way to draw the album to a close. The memorable blues/rock track is a definite stand out track from the album, with an introduction dissimilar to any other. Amy's raw and dominant vocals are also one to remember, as they send a shiver down your spine throughout the alluring and dark intro, before the upbeat rhythm of drum kicks jumps in.
Sheppard are a band who truly deserve the success they've received and have waiting for them. They are an extremely talented group whose debut album grows with every listen and if you haven't listened to the entire album all the way through yet, I suggest you do so soon, because 'Bombs Away' in my books is easily one of the best albums of the entire year.