You may not yet have heard of Sheppard. But the Aussie sextet’s 2014 debut album Bombs Away, shot them straight to serious stardom Down Under, with a battery of awards and a 5x platinum single, “Geronimo,” which was also a hit in the US. (They actually appeared on Ellen and LIVE with Kelly here, and toured with Meghan Trainor.)
This spring will finally see the release of the follow up, the intriguingly titled Watching the Sky. The first single “Coming Home” is an exuberant, anthemic-pop instant-classic, with its rousing chorus of, “I’m coming home tonight / Meet me in the valley / Where the kids collide into the morning.” It most definitely has us excited for the album.
While we wait for them to return to the States, we caught up for a chat with them and asked them to turn us onto the places they can be found clocking time when they’re back in their hometown of Brisbane. A modern city, which at its coldest (July) averages 70 degrees Farenheit – meaning, you literally don’t need to own a sweater or scarf – Brisbane is known for its world class cultural venues, it’s nearby surfing options and, of course, its music scene. It’s also just an hour-and-a-half flight from Sydney.
Sheppard will be doing a few live dates in Australia during March and April – but they promise to be returning to the States before long.
The new single “Coming Home” just went platinum in Australia. You guys have a pretty big following at home?
Yes we do, we’ve been around in Australia for a few years and we have some pretty loyal fans.
The lyrics seem to be about returning from a long time on the road?
That’s exactly right, the song tries to capture the excitement we feel when we get to come home and see our loved ones again.
There seems to be a hint of U2 in the guitars / mood of the song. What were you listening to / inspired by when recording the new album?
I think we are always inspired by our favorite band Coldplay, and the catchy guitar parts and solos in their songs.
What can we expect from Watching the Sky, musically and lyrically?
We have thought about this album from the ground up with the live touring aspect in mind. When listening, we want our audience to feel as though they are with us in a stadium.
Will Sheppard be coming back to tour in the US to coincide with the release of the album?
Yes, you can definitely expect us back in the US in the near future.
Sheppard’s Favorite Spots in Brisbane
James Street is located just off of Ann Street in Fortitude Valley, and is the place to go if you need to find a great shop or two. Our favorites include Gail Sorronda, AJE and Sass & Bide. If you don’t like shopping, you can sit down at a cafe and enjoy the Brisbane sunshine or catch a movie at the Palace Cinemas.
White Label Noba
One of our favorite local designers White Label Noba have a shop located in Hawthorne. If you are into colorful, sparkly outfits, this is definitely worth the drive.
Mrs Browns bar and restaurant is our new top local spot. Such a fun vibe and great food to top it off. Our favorites on the menu are the prawns rolls, KFC Cauliflower and the dumplings. If you are looking for a spot to hang and catch up with your friends, this is definitely the place.
Nodo is a cafe that serves all day breakfast and gluten free donuts…they are healthy, right? This is another great place to have a meeting or work out of home or catch up over a coffee.
Hands down one of the best restaurants in Brisbane. They are widely known for their incredible Asian inspired dishes (whole candied chili bay prawn, Panang curry of honey glazed duck legs) matched with amazing cocktails. It’s also a great date night spot.
Spaghetti House Trattoria
If you’re looking for an Italian, home style cooked meal, Spaghetti House has your back. The staff really know how to look after you and they make the best lobster gnocchi.
This is our favorite spot to take guests or tourists in Brisbane. It’s a bar located on the river at Eagle Street Pier and has a great atmosphere and view. Have drinks overlooking the Story Bridge.
The Triffid is a newish music spot in located in Newstead. It’s a very intimate space, which is a really nice way to catch your favorite act. They have a wicked beer garden as well, great for Sunday sessions.
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