Sheppard’s debut Bombs Away was tsunami-like, generating the international smash Geronimo, which means they’ve got a lot to live up to with Watching The Sky which arrives four years later. And for the most part, they’ve delivered, though not everything works. For example, Edge Of The Night over-reaches, trying too hard to be a party anthem but ending up sounding like a Peter Andre outtake.
But for every misfire there’s a banger to ignite the party. The album’s singles stretch back to 2016, but there are plenty more hit contenders here, with the group working from a broad pop palette. Castaways and Sorry show genuine pop smarts, while Choke sounds like a nod to I Want You, the debut for Brisbane’s previous pop title-holders Savage Garden. The album’s first single We Belong and the break-up ballad Live For You showcase Amy Sheppard’s powerful vocal, which is perhaps underutilised.
Finally, there’s the album’s closing cut I Was Lost, which starts simply and then soars, encapsulating every element of Sheppard in four-and-a-half glorious minutes. You could call Sheppard this generation’s version of the Eurogliders. Underrated? Sure. But they’re building a mightily impressive body of pop hits.
Watching The Sky is out June 8 via MGM.
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