Stealing Sheep are an art-pop band from Liverpool, who formed in 2010. The line up includes Rebecca Hawley (vocals and keys), Emily Lansley (vocals and guitar) and Luciana Mercer (vocals and drum kit).
Their debut studio album ‘Into the Diamond Sun’ was released in 2012 by Heavenly Recordings. It melded surfy guitar with stand up percussion, YAMAHA PSS-270 keyboard banks and three-way vocals. The lead single ‘Shut Eye’ was an internet ‘cult’ success after featuring in the Sony Vista game ‘Tear Away’ generating a viral thread of animated fan videos and animatics.
The band’s second album, ‘Not Real’, was released in 2015 and was described by Pitchfork as “blending art-school inventiveness with AM radio nuggets”. For this album they developed a more electronic sound, featuring analogue synths and drum machines. It stood out for it’s lo-fi home-production style and eclectic sounds. Their videos and styling edged them further into a ‘surreal pop’ platform winning them a ‘best music video’ award at the Raindance Film Festival. They featured in the Guardian Guide, which commented mainly on the band’s ‘misfit’ dynamic and coined them as ‘the dream team’. They were later selected by ‘Esquire’ magazine’s ’12 biggest Winners of SXSW 2016′ next to Drake and Obama.
Their third album ‘Big Wows’ is heavier, harder and weirder than Stealing Sheep’s previous work. Bold neon pop songs with rave percussion, steelpans, dreamy segues and breathy experiments. The *fsszzt* sound of lemonade opens the album with a hyper-real sense of optimism that progressively reveals the cracks of dystopian irony amidst sugar–coated pop; held together by Emily Lansley’s bass guitar, Luciana Mercer’s drum kit, Rebecca Hawley’s synths, and the trio’s swooning steely vocal harmonies.
Stealing Sheep describe Big Wows as “a slow rush”; taking shape over a period of nearly three years spent working out exactly what they wanted it to be and creating an album that levitated their identities as individuals as well as merging them into one unit “We’re each finding our own creative intuition,” says Bex “…and then we come together…and we back each other up” adds Lucy.
Just as the title suggests, Big Wows is both cynical and optimistic: dreaminess and pop dance rhythms are cut with eye rolling vocal styles inflected by heartfelt lyrical messages “We hit upon this conversational-style between the vocals and have alternating lead melodies. There’s a sarcastic tone to some of the music but there is always a strong willfulness to incorporate honest integrity, which is hard to do but refreshing when it finally comes out.”