When was the last time you saw a band that you couldn’t quite bring yourself to love until they cast off the knowing self-referential nods that seem specifically designed to appease cool magazines, websites and TV channels?
Bands who do this are either idiots, or sane – but weak – people hedging their bets. Robyn G Sheils, however, hasn’t mucked about. There’s no layers of ironic faux-nostalgia or self-conscious posturing draped over his songs.
Calling your début EP The Great Depression amounts to nailing your colours to the mast pretty comprehensively. So it’ll be a shock to learn that his songs are actually a bunch of bouncy, 90s-revivalist Gabba, hands-in-the-air floor fillers.
Only kidding. They are, of course, all slightly morose stripped-down laments, albeit exquisitely beautiful ones.
Look What You’ve Done is so affecting that the EP ought to come packaged with a packet of tissues to mop up tears from the inevitable blubbing that surely accompanies his music.
I hope he’s got a few upbeat zingers in his setlist, otherwise his live gigs are going to leave a trail of inert, zombified fans, all pondering the point of it all. Hey – better to have some sort of emotional influence on your crowd than none whatsoever.
On Robyn G Sheils’ Bandcamp page, amongst the usual clutter of snatched studio and goings-on photos, there is one small shot of some graffiti that reads ‘There is no God’.
Bleak, but honest. Just like Robyn’s songs.
MORE: robyngshiels.bandcamp.com // Photo by Robin Cordiner