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9 Jan

Sheer genius

The news that perennial DIY punk popsters Sheer Mag had signed to the White Stripes-affiliated Third Man label last year signified that the band would be stepping up a gear, and quite poosibly changing creative tack too.

But the tracks that the US band has managed to flaunt ahead of their forthcoming next album Playing Favorites – out March 1 – have achieved a rare and graceful balancing trick. They have chartened new, more accessible territory, while leaving the essentially rough-edged charm of the band intact.

Take ‘Moonstruck’, the track for which they ever-so-conveniently decided to share the video of today, as an example. It’s got country guitars, an almost reggae arrangement and a promo inspired by Rush’s ‘Limelight’ and Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhaopsody’. But it still has all the hallmarks of Sheer Mag at their deviant, flanmboyant best, too.

Guitarist and lyricist Matt Palmer said: “‘Moonstruck’ is about how invigorating it is to have a new crush. After too long lost in the wilderness, it’s gratifying to find a beacon of tenderness to help reorient yourself in the maze of love. Written in 2021 and originally intended for a disco EP, ‘Moonstruck’ has been reworked as a more expansive and lush arrangement and features some of our favorite guitar work on the new record.” 

The band are embarking on a massive US trawl at the moment – we’re talking 35 or so dates – but whispers about an imminent trip to the UK too refuse to die down. Let’s hope the gossip has it right this time.

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