Sheik wrap up more than a year of single releases to complete their latest EP, Love and Hate Someone.
Whether or not you’re familiar with the Saint John trio Sheik or their brand of experimental, shoegaze, psych-rock, there’s a good chance you’ve crossed paths at some point over the past three years. That is, if you’re at all tuned into the music that’s been coming out of the city’s indie rock scene as of late.
Perhaps you’ve come across the band’s debut EP, Go Away From Yourself, in the ‘Local’ section at Backstreet Records or Secondspin and asked yourself, “Who the hell are these guys?” After all, it was released on vinyl and cassette – a bold introduction by any measure. Or maybe you caught that live set they played at Yuk Yuk’s as part of the first Quality Block Party. Their first single, Drive, is a live recording from that performance. You might even know founding members Colin Ferris and Lorne Kirkpatrick from the slew of past and present bands they’ve been involved with. It’s a lengthy list.
But there’s an equal chance you have no idea who Sheik are, and that’s fine. But in order to fully appreciate their latest release Love and Hate Someone I’ll need to bring you up to speed as best I can.
Sheik’s debut release, Go Away From Yourself, was released on vinyl. That’s a big thing. What a move (and what a risky expense for a new band!). But also, what better way to make a first impression? The following year, Drive, took some of the initial sonic elements first presented on the band’s debut – mainly the rock solid, forward moving rhythmic pulse that defined the tracks Cry and Someone Else – and let Ferris’s guitar speak with a bit more confidence and authority. As the band’s first instrumental track, Drive helped introduce a newer, stronger Sheik, almost as if they’d been working daily to improve upon what they gave us with Go Away From Yourself.
Nine months later, Sheik released the single Alone In The Dark, again offering up a sound that was even more polished and refined than their last single and a sound that was head and shoulders above their debut. And to add to it all, the recording quality was their best to date, helping to give their complex rock-hybrid sound a more than fair representation.
Alone In The Dark marked another huge leap in Sheik’s evolving sound. The track was also the first single off the band’s forthcoming EP, Love and Hate Someone.
Six months later, the single Stoned arrived followed quickly by the release of the third single, Why.
Today, Sheik wrapped up more than a year of single releases with the release of their new single, Fine, the fourth in a long-running series and the last remaining track from their EP, Love and Hate Someone.
Now available as a complete four song release, Love and Hate Someone, is a stunning example of one band’s evolution.
Looking back over all of Sheik’s releases to date is a fun exercise. If you compare Go Away From Yourself to Love and Hate Someone, you can truly get a sense of concept to realization. One release hints at the band’s intended direction with its washy, dream-like guitar and punchy percussion and the other is very much a “we have arrived” moment. They’ve dialled it all in.
Beyond getting to witness Sheik’s development over the course of these two EPs, possibly the most remarkable evolution presented is just how far Ferris has come as a vocalist. Like the big step forward his guitar made on Drive, Ferris’s voice is now equal in strength to the band’s overall musicality, matching the level of polish and intensity he and Kirkpatrick have achieved with this project.
Today, Sheik can rightfully claim their place among the city’s finest, and Love and Hate Someone is the reason why.
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