By Hayley Scott
When you consider the consistency and quality of bands to emerge from Liverpool, one begins to speculate that there is some sort of entrancing, psychedelic magic that flows through the water in Merseyside. Since the premature days of the Cavern Club, we have seen a deluge of musical offerings; from the efficacious pop of The Beatles to the post-punk prowess of Echo & the Bunnymen, affirming the city’s reputation for its imperative contributions to Britain’s musical repertoire. Stealing Sheep are a contemporary testimony to this air of mysticism surrounding Liverpool’s ability to casually spawn the occasional musical gem.
Into the Diamond Sun is a debut album that channels the same distinct qualities that are evident in their first otherworldly endeavour, Noah and the Paper Moon EP, in which Stealing Sheep provided latent promise of what was to come: lo-fidelity, DIY pop with psychedelic undertones, well-crafted melodies accompanied by seraphic vocals and evocative sixties-style drone synths. Into the Diamond Sun encapsulates all of these elements with added vigour, inevitably causing curiosity and accumulating more fans in the process.
‘The Garden’ is a tactful introduction to the album, its instrumental contents and harmonies set the general tone for the record. The statelier dramatics of the intro replicates something distinctly Kate Bush, and the sliding, glissading guitar unleashes a somewhat bluesy element. Their DIY ethic is axiomatic within the obscure, hand-crafted noises that often converge in the background.
‘Shut Eye’ emulates the assiduity of Liverpool’s pop history; it showcases their ability to purvey a catchy, melodic pop song without lacking in creativity and depth. You may have heard this indelibly delicate little number on an advert for a certain vacuous television soap, but don’t let that form any doubtful prerequisites, this song irrefutably holds its own. The tribal beats entwined with the inclusion of trumpets and hypnotic vocal harmonies merge together to create something that is subtly triumphant. In ‘Genevieve’ we are acquainted with Stealing Sheep’s psychedelic tendencies. The chorus is distinctive and melodious, an appropriate attribute that makes it stand out as being a wise choice for their most recent single.
‘Bear Tracks’ sombrely concludes the album with a shift in pace, its pensive and forlorn tone is assisted by the ghostly piano and an accentuation of Emily’s dulcet vocals. The melancholic tone swiftly descends into a melding whirl of the trio combining and boasting striking vocal efforts and instrumental capabilities.
Their own interpretation of various genres ranging from psychedelia and pop to funk and folk accentuates their reluctance to remain static and instead provides something that is dynamic and intriguing. Into the Diamond Sun is buoyant but wistful, shimmering and tranquil, resolutely consistent and readily prepared to be comfortably placed amongst a number of established female contemporaries.