Big Wows

Release Date
Writer
Score
8.00
big wows

Stealing Sheep are Emily Lansley (bass / vocals), Luciana Mercer (drums / vocals) and Rebecca Hawley (synth / vocals) and Big Wows is their third album, their first in four years. It's a dazzling mirror-ball of a record, full of glistening pop gems that keep the positivity flowing in a music scene that is not currently brimming with joy. Thematically, the album was influenced by the modern tech era, so it's fitting that the songs were born on a computer and then moulded into something that sounds more organic. This is truly an electro album though, and apart from the inspired percussion and a few untouched vocal harmonies, it's an album fitting for that technological world. Musically, the band touch on some of the genre's greats. "Back In Time" is a minimal pop masterclass in the vein of The Human League, just as they were transitioning from moody industrialists to full on chart nominators. The best kind of Human League in my opinion. The beats and harmonies on "Why Haven't I?" have the youthful knock-about feel of early Fun Boy Three / Bananarama or even Sugababes. These are proper pop bangers but with subtle darkened edges (which to be fair were present in both the aforementioned artists). Then there's "Just Dreaming", one of Big Wows' few ballads which is sumptuous and weird, with synth lines that sound like they're spinning on a warped LP. It's a real smorgasbord of texture and depth and a must-listen for fans of Circus era Erasure, or more recently Hannah Cohen's electronic work. Album opener "Show Love" is all cool, summertime vibes. Perfectly produced and structured, it's got all the hallmarks of a future classic. "Jokin' Me" sees the band move from pop to club, with a cutting lyrical hook which manages to both satirise and be warmly reminiscent of club culture and youthful no strings fun.  The end of the album gets much darker, but stays (mostly) rhythmically upbeat, and tracks like "Breathe" come with much harder edges and more downbeat lyrical narratives. Then there's "True Colours" with it's icier take on the core Steeling Sheep sound and a hidden track called "Heartbeats" which uses a heartbeat as a rhythm section and adds layers and layers of backwards keys to form something which sounds like a classical recording. Big Wows is a sparkling summer pop record with a dash of modern-day cynicism.