Anybody that has managed to catch the incredible Stealing Sheep in the last couple of years, be it supporting Emmy the Great on tour or even their own shows will already know how dreamlike and sensational they are.
For others who have yet to experience the tremendous vocal arrangement, backed up by some of the most unusual but spine tingling music conceived since the early days of Pink Floyd, then Into the Diamond Sun by the three women who make up Stealing Sheep is not just essential listening, it’s an album of ethereal beauty, a glimpse of what is achievable outside the safety bubble of corporation pop and mass produced noise.
If you have been fortunate enough to follow the trio who make up the band, the journey from a couple of E.P.s to this their debut album is proof positive that folk music has more to offer than the thought of the occasional night out in a pub surrounded by the odd bearded man extoling the virtues of this and that. This is the new age beyond the experiment, music that shows that hard work and dedication to the cause can still give audiences a huge surprise and leave all scepticism at the front door.
Becky Hawley, Emily Lansley and Lucy Mercer can claim to be one of those bands that call Liverpool home and where the British pop explosion of the 60’s was fuelled by those that hailed from the city and the 1980’s and 90’s anger spilled over from a generation that had been left behind and wanted their voice to be heard in the melee. The second decade of the 21st century sees Liverpool once again beginning to be the hub of the next British explosion. Stealing Sheep have stridden alongside all these local groups and singers and deserve much praise.
Into The Diamond Sun is like an explosion of sound and cracking female vocal harmony that was last seen utilised perfectly by Marcella Detroit and Siobhan Fahey in Shakespeare’s Sister. Each song, whether the opening track of The Garden, the blossoming sound of Genevieve or the sympathetic glory of Tangled up in Stars stands out as part of one of the best debut albums by an all-female group.
Exciting and genuine, Stealing Sheep are to be taken seriously as part of the new movement.
Ian D. Hall