From the rousing Coldpay-esque opening title track instrumental that segues effortlessly into lead single ‘Die Young’, it’s clear that Brisbane band Sheppard are brimming with confidence on their third long player, ‘Kaleidoscope Eyes’.
The follow up to 2018’s No.1 album ‘Watching The Sky’ sees the sibling trio of George, Amy and Emma take a road less travelled in the world of pop music strategies.
Prior to album launch day, almost every track (and accompanying music video) was released to give each one time to shine. The result… the most self-assured, cohesive and enjoyable Sheppard album to date.
For hardcore fans, this will play as almost a greatest hits compilation. For the casual listener, there’s plenty of familiarity after a year of consistent airplay on Australian and European radio. Over 53 million streams on Spotify alone indicate the tracks on ‘Kaleidoscope Eyes’ have already found a global audience.
The only track to not receive a single/video release, ‘Looking For Love’, shines bright despite the lack of fanfare. One could be forgiven for assuming it was a b-side filler. There is no filler here.
Amy Sheppard takes centre stage on the super fun ‘Animals’ and the Southern California-tinged ‘Catalina’… her dreamy vocals complementing her older brother who takes lead elsewhere. With her solo debut set for later in 2021, this further highlights her capabilities to stand either centre stage or effortlessly harmonise whilst on keys or guitar.
George Sheppard’s multi-octave voice, a true strength of the album in itself, shines brightest on ‘Somebody Like You’ (“a devastating song about heartbreak”) and NBC’s Olympic theme ‘Solid Gold’; the latter seeing the band wax lyrical about standing on the precipice of greatness and ready to jump right in. Fitting for a band with such a large fanbase knocking on the door of mega-stardom.
After a year that saw them master their songwriting prowess, deliver at the AFL Grand Final halftime show and take a real gamble with their release schedule, ‘Kaleidoscope Eyes’ pays off in spades.
In a moment in musical history where albums no longer carry the weight they once did, and where pop music is not as “cool” as it once was, Sheppard have well and truly delivered.
VERDICT : 4.5/5.
MUST LISTEN : Symphony, Solid Gold, Somebody Like You, Catalina.