With a multitude of projects, several EPs under their belt and a deal with Heavenly Records, Getintothis’ Mike Doherty asks Stealing Sheep if they really need a GIT Award nomination?
On the face of it, Stealing Sheep is a pretty easy act to understand; three girls make dreamy folk pop, but with such a heavy presence of European folk music, the guessing game got a little harder.
Stealing Sheep is collaborative effort between the three members, Emily Lansley, Rebecca Hawley and Lucy Mercer who met while working on Lark Lane in 2010, as Rebecca explains; ‘I was working in a shop and Emily and Lucy worked in the café upstairs.
‘We saw each other around, noticed that we all play music and had similar interests so we met up at Mello Mello café and had a cup of tea, and decided to practice together.
‘We had a few rehearsals over the summer, wrote some tunes and then recorded them in a school in Toxteth. Then we put them online and they got a good reaction and started gigging.‘
The results of this recording session became their debut EP What If The Light Went Out, a densely packed effort that smacks of Efterklang and Beirut and was released in Manchester’s DIY indie label Red Deer Club.
‘They (Red Deer Club) put it out on CD and distributed it and helped us with press and our first radio plays, Becky adds.
‘Then we did another release on vinyl with a label called Idle Fret from London who’ve got a lot of good radio contacts too.‘
This second EP, I Am The Rain, eventually led to an album deal with Heavenly Records, home to the likes of Saint Etienne and Doves. The album should be released later this summer.
Between recording and releasing, the trio have been exceedingly busy with live shows and high profile support slots.
They self-booked their first tour right after the debut EP was recorded, played with Efterklang and Summer Camp in Liverpool and have provided tour support to Field Music earlier this year. Not only that, they were invited to play with St. Vincent in Paris in February.
With all this praise and acclaim for a relatively new band, is the acclaim of the GIT Award something that Stealing Sheep need?
Becky says: ‘I think that it’s a beneficial launch pad for new bands, so I can see where you’re coming from, but I definitely think we appreciate the help as much as all the other bands.
‘We’re on an independent label, which is based on DIY music just like the other nominees. We’re a very hard working band that is trying for the same goals (as them).’
Stealing Sheep is not the only musical pursuit of this trio, they have all been in various bands on the Liverpool scene for some years now.
Emily was working on her own band Emily & The Faves when the three met and still plays occasionally; Rebecca was part of experimental collective Hapytap along with various gigging musicians including members of electronic noise-makers Barberos; Lucy runs a side project called Sing For Your Supper signed to Kazimier Records and is a member of the Kazimier’s Krunk band.
With so many collaborations and side projects, the world of Stealing Sheep is not so simple after all.
Stealing Sheep’s debut record is out on Heavenly Records in Spring 2012.
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