Stealing Sheep announce new LP ‘Big Wows’ (listen to “Joking Me”)
Liverpool trio Stealing Sheep are finally back with the follow-up to 2015’s great Not Real. The LP, their third, is titled Big Wows and will be out on April 19 via Heavenly. This album was influenced by technology — both the music it can help create but also the problems it brings to the world. “We wanted sounds to represent TVs, computers and everyday glitches” says Bex Hawley. “We started to have this feeling that life is like a game and how you can malfunction when you’re blasted with too much information.” Unlike their previous two albums, Big Wows began its life entirely in the computer. “The big challenge,” says Bex, “is making machines sound organic, emotional, finding their flaws. That’s why Delia Derbyshire is so important to us. All the effects that she uses serve to humanise the machines.” The first single is “Joking Me,” which is buoyant and poppy, with just a bit of minor key grey to balance things out and the group’s signature vocal interplay.
The video for “Joking Me” also plays off those same technology themes. The group told The FADER:
Both the song and the video speak a lot about todays modern culture and how things seem throw away: love, communication, revealing the disappointments and let downs but also the ephemeral of the delete, trash, emoji digital world. The way you can put up a front on social media, cultivate an imagined life, your best life.
We teamed up with 8bit video artist Pastel Castle (Emily Garner) from Leeds, who created Stealing Sheep avatars, we became pixelated superheroes in an over saturated and glitchy platform. It sets the scene for a full series of karaoke videos to be released alongside the album exploring Stealing Sheep in a digital dimension, shifting identities amidst changing cultural moods and millennial paraphernalia. The “Do you think about me” HTML malfunction noting the obsessive nature of social media. It’s a crazy time and it’s challenging navigating through it.
Listen to “Joking Me” and watch the video below.
Always a band where the visual side is no afterthought, Stealing Sheep played AV-centric Wow Machine shows this year that featured a mechanical stage and dancers. They also played special “Suffragette Summer” shows this summer — like at End of the Road fest — that marked the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in the UK and incorporated a 15-piece all-female procession of drummers and percussionists. “Being female has become more of a thread in our work,” the band say. “It’s obviously always been there in some way but now we’re playing with it more conceptually and thinking about empowerment.” Stay tuned for more tour plans.
Stealing Sheep – Big Wows tracklist:
1. Show Love
2. Back in Time
3. Joking Me
4. Why Haven’t I
6. Just Dreaming
7. Big Wows
9. True Colours
10. Choose Like You