Release Date: April 14th, 2015
Label: Forward Music Group
Andy Sheppard’s Find The Others is a project that takes chamber pop and leads it down the path of contemporary indie folk. The result is a cross between Iron and Wine and ‘Sounds of Silence’ era Art Garfunkel.
The real charm of this record lies in its subtlety. “We Stared At The Sky” opens the album with gentle guitar chords echoing harmonically. We then fixate the line “Sun dogs in the sky/Crystalline halo” because it sets the wistful mood for the entire album. There is a nice rise to the chorus, followed by cello-like strings that join in on the second verse. At the second chorus a beat starts like a heartbeat before crashing into full percussion. Bittersweet keyboards soar and then segue into aching electric guitar. The song has now fully blossomed with lively accompaniment, but it doesn’t last long before it all fades into a denouement of softly twinkling leopards. Gorgeous. A simple but clever arrangement.
All of the songs on ‘Empire of Time’ are as equally fine as the opening track, with changes in instrumentation providing a welcome variety. The yacht rock style pop songs are also enhanced by delicate vocal arrangements, with a female vocalist occasionally added to great effect. There is an interesting interplay between the two singers, for example, on the track ‘The Things You Want’.
There is nothing really groundbreaking here, but it hums along like a well-engineered luxury car. With its carefully crafted arrangements and the obvious attention to detail, it is as intellectually stimulating as it is emotionally heartening.