Brendon Shields

Brendon Shields


Sparse, honest and brutal, Shields' lyrics will force you to reconsider your place in the world and to realize that even if today more nuanced - musicians are still society's social conscience. Truth and Recession is the screaming cry that lifts the world off your shoulders


From the little known South African town of Bethlehem comes a singer-songwriter whose debut record is so strikingly of the times it’ll fast be soundtracking the lives of individuals across the globe.

Titled Truth and Recession, the 13-track record introduces Brendon Shields’ music to a broader public for the first time – close to a year after his songs earned him a publishing deal with Sony/ATV South Africa.

Shield’s exquisitely rendered tales of love and survival have also seen him become the first signing to MIA Records, the Joburg-based distributor of several key international indie labels including Sub Pop, New West Records and Thrill Jockey. This places Shields in the company of the likes of Steve Earle, Fleet Foxes, and Low, his tender, frequently melancholic, vignettes of life lived in “pre-recession shoes” fitting in comfortably with these kind-of artists.

The arrival of Truth and Recession is being preceded by the release of the record’s first single, “Rockstardom” – a bleak yet deeply heartfelt song about hope in impossible times. “But can I you this song about our future/maybe your little heart will hurt a little less/and if I promise you I’m going to be a rockstar/Babe this situation is a mess/when rockstardom is the only option left,” Shields sings in his carefully modulated voice that sits atop the simplest of music arrangements.

Indeed, its Shield’s lyrics that are his most potent selling point, and his ability to describe the heartbreak of love going south or the prospect of summer lovin’ just around a pretty dark corner places him amongst the best lyricists working in music today.

What’s also striking about Shields’ music is how fully-formed it comes, with the sense that there is little distance between the songs first being written and what results in the studio.

Truth and Recession is produced by Shields, with mixing by Italian Producer Stefano Soffia, whose previous accolades include work with Snow Patrol, Finley Quay and Sinead O’ Connor. The album features Shields’ on all instruments with the exception of contributions by Durban musician James Cross and Ockert Lotriet


Going Like A Boeing

Written By: BH Shields

This is who I am, and this is where I’m going.
Nothing can stop the force of a wind blowing hot like a hot flush wind in the southern sky.
No-one is perfect but everyone can change
some even aspire to achieve great things.
I hope you are happy with your own slice of the pie.

This my momma used to say to me is the land of opportunity. It took a while for me to understand that if you want to fly, you gotta learn to dream. And if you ever should fall you cannot give in.

The tide will suck you in my friend the moment you stop rowing The fortunes of your enemies are going like a boeing Its time to draw the line. Its time to climb the clifff and declare This is where I am and this is where I’m going

The lord he asked me what I want? / I want a house and a car – maybe someone to love.
What will I give back in return? / I can play the guitar and I’m willing to learn
You’ll find your destiny if you keep your eyes on the stars. ‘Cause if you want to fly you gotta learn to dream. And if you ever should fall you cannot give in.


Written By: BH Shields

Show me the way to damascus that doesn’t leave you in despair. You don’t reply my sms’es. You say the signal isn’t there

Just say you are sorry ‘cause it was wrong to leave me Believe me it aint easy here alone.

Its been a long time since I’ve seen you. The singing birds all flown away. I used to share with you my wisdom. Now I have nothing left to say

And now I’m almost 30. At 30 I’ll be strong I’ve been keeping myself busy. Im not ready to let you go.

You only visit while I’m sleeping. I could almost feel you touch my hair I think the other are all crazy – they keep on saying you are dead.


2013 Single "The Point of No Return"released on iTunes and Spotify and playlisted on Dublins South FM, Ireland

2011 LP "Truth and Recession" released on digital and physical formats in South Africa and playlisted on most community radio stations as well as on music video channel MK.