In some aspects, Mark Shepherd’s musical career may appear to be in reverse. For those whom ‘The Grand Scheme of Things‘ EP (produced/engineered by Chris Pepper at Saltwell Studios) is their first introduction to Mark Shepherd’s work will soon understand the depth and emotion which impact on both his music and his lyrics. Through his original brand of thought provoking indie-folk, his strong and distinctive vocal style is complimented by powerful and melodic guitar, through which listeners will quickly understand the depth of emotion that has reckoning on his work lyrically and musically.
Having had been handed a record contract with Lamborghini Records at the age of 18, progress unfortunately stagnated when the company went bust. While venturing along a ‘normal’, but successful, trajectory in his working life, a longing to encourage his undoubted musical and creative talent has driven things full circle. What ensued was a heartfelt determination to push things forward from the triumphs of his previous EP ‘Bad Man‘ (produced by Pete Brazier at Vertical Rooms). As well as featuring on Cambridgeshire’s BBC Introducing and a host of community and online radio, he also has an impressive resume of playing famous venues in London, Manchester and New York.
The EP offers the listener two distinct paths, with both electric and acoustic versions of each of the four tracks, the perfect choice for an artist whose music is all about mood and story-telling. While the overriding subject matter of the tracks touch upon themes of regret, loss and aspects of a more troubling nature, he has stated that his lyrics left intentionally ambiguous in order to allow his audience to apply their own interpretation. Opening with the title track – a song which brings together elements of Paul Weller’s strongest solo work and the more introspective songs of Tom Petty, this is a look at the culmination of someone’s life and questions and what it means to have made a difference – asking if making a positive impact on a small number of people isn’t just as worthwhile as grander gestures.
Hamburg’s FUCK ART, LET’S DANCE! release their debut album Atlas on 28th April 2014 via Audiolith. The album channels, youth, wonderment and discovery, about young hearts trading in security for the unknown – a life of possibilities and adventure – something we all yearn.
You can listen to, and download, their free album track “HOME” on Audiolith‘s SoundCloud page.
The band’s name – FUCK ART, LET’S DANCE! – speaks for itself. Whilst listening to Atlas you can imagine club kids from Dalston, London to Williamsburg, New York dancing carefree in the darkest, coolest corners of some of the best underground clubs, music pulsing, the band’s name emblazoned onto loose fitted vests, graffitied luminously across brick walls – FUCK ART, LET’S DANCE! have the capacity to start a movement.
Opening with title track ‘Atlas’, the band evoke the feeling of the joyous abandon of youth but FALD bring the intelligence of Foals whilst maintaining that edge. Progressing forward, a more electronic vibe seeps in with tracks like ‘Home’, channeling an early Friendly Fires sound. There’s a wistfulness about Atlas though, something that East India Youth fans will definitely find appealing but they never slow the pace, they aim to bring you up and keep you there right until the very last track.
Although Atlas is the band’s debut, they’ve been hard at work during their inception in 2009. FALD literally formed from a need to make people dance, tired of watching ‘gig zombies’ stand around at local live shows, they wanted to inspire people to move. Before they had even released a record, they played over 200 gigs earning a reputation for their upbeat, danceable performances. They soon found themselves flying across the Atlantic to SXSW, impressing audiences with their international sound, which led to their 2012 EP Lovers Arcade.
With Atlas, this addictive four-piece will make you dance, sweat and smile – they embody both the fun and introspective elements of youth and have translated them into thirteen perfect tracks.
If you want to catch one of their electrifying live shows, FUCK ART, LET’S DANCE! will be playing at Proud Camden on 22nd February 2014. You can buy your ticket here. Atlas is released on 28th April 2014 via Audiolith.