With our forthcoming gig at The Old Blue Last on December 13, The Line of Best Fit have confirmed headline act Stealing Sheep as a new favourite. Our faith in the Liverpool trio is justified on their new EP Noah and the Paper Moon, a record that vividly hints at the girls’ forthcoming success.
Shrouded in otherworldly harmonies and intricate imagery, the release has enough melodic clout to overcome the most stalwart of cynics. No track documents Stealing Sheep’s ability to capture a wraithlike magic better than ‘Your Saddest Song’, a piece of music that transforms the cutting wind of the Mersey into a thing of melancholy beauty. ‘Noah’s Days’ maximises all three women’s vocal peculiarities, intertwining their colloquial hitches with a sound akin to a gramophone breaking down. The result can only be described as creepy, and while their childlike pronunciation can grate, on the whole it adds an attractive dimension to Noah and the Paper Moon. Comparisons to Alessi’s Ark and First Aid Kit are obvious, but there’s something about Rebecca Marie Hawley’s vocal in particular that propels Stealing Sheep away from the same old, same old.
Though first impressions suggest otherwise, pigeonholing this band is not an easy task. Opener ‘I am the Rain’ makes the psych-folk tag unavoidable, and the progressive pop that dominates Liverpool’s contemporary scene binds Stealing Sheep to the North West. Despite the sometimes predictable elements of the EP, an ethereal, haunting tension ensures Noah and the Paper Moon is a far leap and howling cry away from mediocre twee ramblings. Recorded everywhere between an abandoned school hall in Liverpool and the legendary Abbey Road studios in London, the ramshackle aspect of Noah and the Paper Moon adds a sporadic charm without endangering the release’s unity.
Stealing Sheep are, admittedly, an acquired taste, but that is unlikely to deter any of The Line of Best Fit’s readers. Packed full of talent, gorgeous and consistently enchanting harmony, Noah and the Paper Moon lays down the foundations for a prosperous career.