Brisbane based indie/pop band Sheppard seemingly came out of nowhere this year, and boy did they appear with a bang! Initially, their viral hit Let Me Down Easy barely missed a radio station; the first single released from their debut album, Geronimo, has reached 3xPlatinum certification in Australia and broke the record for the longest run at #1 for an independent release. Having released their debut EP Sheppard in 2013, the group have now dropped their debut studio album Bombs Away, which has been highly anticipated since the success of Geronimo.
Geronimo kicks things off with a shot of adrenaline, a steady beat and a catchy as all hell chorus; it’s great to be able to hear all members of the band share and own their parts respectively. Second single 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; perhaps not as memorable as its predecessor, but it’s still catchy nonetheless. Let Me Down Easy takes us back to where the Sheppard obsession all began, the hook has a beautiful harmonious arrangement and the instrumentation is so simple that it makes the track all the more welcoming. These People is another subtly introduced indie track and has another lovely melody, but touches on the negative people surrounding us. The pop in Sheppard returns with A Grade Playa, and Smile is a cheesy-yet-catchy track that is fun to bop along to.
The Best Is Yet To Come consists of a dreamscape vocal with a reverb of perfection, the harmonies are subtle yet lovely and again Sheppard manage to nail writing another catchy track. This Electric Feeling is different, parts of the chorus are somewhat accidentally/slightly deliberately inspired by Christina Aguilera’s Genie In A Bottle, it’s a pop song with a darker edge. Find Someone strays from the overall pop innocence engulfing the album, its lyrical content is somewhat stronger and shows us a different side to the Sheppard we know; Lingering is no different to what we’ve heard on Bombs Away previously, and Halfway To Hell closes the album on an upbeat and rock influenced note.
Bombs Away is a strong debut album release for a band of Sheppard’s calibre; the indie/pop scene in Australia is forever growing, and it shows great promise as more and more acts of this genre overtake mainstream pop music on the national charts. Sheppard are the perfect example of this, Geronimo knocked Pharrel’s Happy from the top of the charts after overstaying its welcome; it is instantly refreshing when indie acts can achieve success such as that. The album has a true indie/alternative sound, captivating enough to keep you around for its majority. Sheppard are definitely going places further than Brisbane following the release of Bombs Away.