Liverpudlian art-pop trio Stealing Sheep find emotional resonance in large scale pop structures, digging into the details of their euphoric, synth-dappled foundations to better understand our inclination to readily give ourselves over to the resulting rapturous movements. As overwhelming as these sounds can be, the band never forgets to find the beating heart at the center of that noise, a calm in the storm where theatricality can be brushed aside for the recognition of personal truth and intense introspection. But you might as well be dancing, anyway, right?
On 2019’s Big Wows, the band fully embraced a colossal synth-pop aesthetic, losing much of the muted folk flourishes of their earlier work. But in embracing the larger-than-life elements that had been working their way through their music for years, Stealing Sheep found new purpose and resolve in an exploration of glittery, bedazzled pop music. In an effort to deconstruct and reassemble their influences into a meaningful expression of artistic wonder, they discovered a deeper reverence for those same artists and developed a sound as infectious as it was liable to cause spontaneous bodily contortions.
On their new standalone single, a wonderfully bonkers cover of Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun”, they strip the track of its familiarity, pulling it apart piece by piece, creating a certifiable dancefloor banger out of what’s left. Electro-pop beats, samplers, and dense-as-fuck synths whirl together until there’s nothing but fluorescent stars in your eyes and a brain filled with day-glo rhythms.
But the band isn’t done messing with your senses. Directed and edited by Tommy Husband, with assistance from Essie May and Caroline Smith, the accompanying video was filmed in and around Merseyside and at Vessel Studios in Liverpool, inspired by their collective restlessness due to the COVID pandemic.
The band explains: “During lockdown we savored our time walking and going outside… our freedom was limited to ‘one walk a day’ and this track is a bit of a ‘time capsule’ for this period in our lives…finding appreciation and connection to nature and our surroundings in a built-up city area.“
Watch the video below.
Stealing Sheep’s cover of “Blister in the Sun” can be heard on the Lush Limited compilation Life’s What You Make It, available here. You can pre-save the song here.