Sherpa
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Sherpa

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"Sherpa: Lesser Flamingo (Little White)"

While I have yet to hear the album, I found it very easy to walk away from Opposom at this year's Laneway Festival asking myself, "If it wasn't who we know it is up there, would we really care?"

I found them dull and the songs incomplete . . . and anyway I wanted to see Auckland band Sherpa who drew a much smaller but more appreciative crowd -- and not just because singer-frontman Earl Ho was wearing what women in the Sixties would call a muumuu. (A loose tent-style dress from Hawaii.)

With their prog tendencies we could have been witnessing the rise of kaftan rock.

I've seen Ho a few times previously and thought he was mad and enjoyable, but on the day Sherpa suffered the most common afflicition of many young bands. The songs keep shifting focus as if to prove they can do it, and perhaps to show they aren't just typically pop or rock.

Later I saw them side of stage when the Horrors played and hoped they noted the obvious: despite what we might think of the Horrors (and I thought they were Teardrop Explodes, actually), they would hit a song and stick with it, and people danced because it was recognisably going somewhere.

So, Sherpa's debut album then?

Much more focused, enjoyable, pop-like and mature than that otherwise enjoyable set. A real pleasant surprise.

Yes, some songs spin off in a new direction at times -- It's All Good G, In Dolphins He Trusts, I'm Becoming More Like an Animal, I'm Happy Just to Lie -- but when they average at somewhere fewer than three minutes they don't get much opportunity. The pop economy suits them well, especially on the scene-setting, rapid fire opener Turner which is propelled by sten-gun drumming.

Sherpa toy with tricky New Wave energy (the Blondie-on-speed Samsong) but also filter it through pure pop (the delightfully dreamy and radio-friendly Lunar Bats, Chalk) and aren't averse to some stomping and distorted rock (Tree) or throwing in some economic synth-swish'n'splatter for added colour (Guarantee).

Yes, some missteps and songs which don't work, but for a debut after a promising EP, this is a step up and much more tightly focused than what I saw live. A real pleasant surprise on many fronts.

Maybe Opossom can surprise me too? - Elswhere


"Sherpa - Lesser Flamingo Album Review"

It’s hard to gauge the success of local Indie bands, but you know Sherpa are making waves in the Indie world when you hear their songs played on one of the obscure niche shows Massey University’s Radio Control has on offer. That’s where I first came across this quirky band and their unique sound. They made it onto the bFM Top Ten, I hear. It would appear Indie Rock is very much in vogue.

And how appropriate a term, as there are several moments that remind me of early Madonna on Lesser Flamingo. It’s poppy, catchy and Earl Ho’s unique voice distinguishes Sherpa from the other Indie Rock acts on offer. The music is like the ambience of some strange psychedelic circus. Forever happy. Radiant carousels turning. Candy Floss and fluffy soft toys.

While everyone raves about their singles ‘Turtles’ and ‘Lunar Bats’ I urge you too look deeper into the album. There are hidden gems with wow factors scattered through the rest of the album too. Not bad for an entirely self-funded, self-produced and self-released DIY effort. - Muzic.net.nz


"Album review: Sherpa - Lesser Flamingo"

Laced with summer chic and a plethora of pop hooks, Sherpa have a new slice of DIY music magic to offer.

Hot off an opening spot at the Laneway Festival this year, they’re currently in the middle of a nationwide tour in support of their self-produced and self-released full length debut, Lesser Flamingo. By being involved in the creative process at every level, Sherpa have managed to come out with something that feels personal and special, without falling into overindulgence. Playful synth tones weave throughout the album, intertwining with lead vocalist Earl Sans’ distinctive melodies and helping give the album a polished feel. In between the obvious crowd pleasers like ‘Lunar Bats and ‘Turtles’ you can find gems like ‘Samsong’, which blisters with punk-ish drumming, and ‘I’m Happy Just To Lie’, a fairground-esque slice of psychedelic ska. It’s tracks like these that help create an album imbued with the irresistible enthusiasm of the terribly young.

Rating: 4/5 - Groove Guide


"Lesser Flamingo by SHERPA"

Innocence and wide-eyed wonder seem to collide with sparks and, dare I say, some feathers, head on into some hedonistic party on Auckland five-piece Sherpa’s debut long player. Sweet charming melodies crash into wonderful psychedelic whirls which spin at such velocity, I actually got dizzy the second time I listened to It’s All Good, G.
Opening with the frenetic Turner – a veritable roller coaster of a track – especially with it’s insanely amazing climax (tissues may be required). They recorded the record with the fantastically talented James Dansey (The Sneaks, Spring Break) and I can’t help but wonder if some of the little insane sqiggley bits are James twiddling a knob.
Lead single, Lunar Bats, has already been enjoying bFM playlist and chart action – a swing-a-long-sing-a-long that builds, sneaking itself into your brain like a welcomed musical parasite.
The bass riffs in Chalk chugg are in perfect contrast to Earl’s sweet falsetto voice, then, subtly those bass lines begin to liquify into a fat-fantastic slushy. “Just let me sit down by a tree / and write some poetry” Early sweetly pleads in Tree while sonically the band literally thunder around him; two-thirds in we come to a purple-like glade where sonic butterflies skip and dance from bloom to bloom before the flower boom again. The psychedelia continues through to Turtles. Which is a sentence I have been dying to write since I first held a crayon. But these are not children of the psychedelic sixties and certainly not attempting no throwback – they even get 8-bit digital on that shit in Tried Again.
Closing the record with a fantastic space-reggae jam, I’m Happy Just To Lie, which, I wager, like the whole record, if someone were to write all the elements down on a piece of paper would make absolutely no sense at all – but lucky for us, Sherpa chose not to spell this shit out, but rather just show us a little inside their wonderfully messed up imaginations with sounds. Sounds that are quite amazing. An absolutely fantastic debut album.
8.8 / 10 - Cheese On Toast


Discography

'I'm Sparklers EP' (2009)
'Pretty Cool Optical Illusions' EP (2011)
'Lesser Flamingo' LP (2012)

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Bio

On the back of their ‘Pretty Cool Optical Illusions’ EP earning a Groove Guide album of the week, a bFM Top Ten #1, a Roundhead Studios Live In Session, opening slots for The Clean, Darwin Deez, Real Estate and a noteworthy performance at this years Auckland Laneway Festival, Sherpa are painting 2012 in a psychedelic haze with the release of their anticipated debut album - ‘Lesser Flamingo’.

‘L
esser Flamingo’ has been described as “an outstanding debut that oozes creativity and suggests nothing but promise for the future for Sherpa. At moments it's like a peek into the mind of a surrealist artist. You have no idea how the hell someone could fathom such ideas, but you are so glad they did. Sherpa really are a band with no boundaries.” - Rip It Up, 4.5/5. “Sherpa chose not to spell this shit out, but rather just show us a little inside their wonderfully messed up imaginations with sounds. Sounds that are quite amazing. An absolutely fantastic debut album.” - Cheese On Toast, 8.8/10. “It’s not often that an album comes along that invokes such strong feelings as this one does, but as soon as you put on Lesser Flamingo you just feel like everything’s right in the world, no matter what’s going on around you; their music envelopes you in warm, fuzzy and instantly likeable tones.” - Under The Radar. Self-funded, self-produced and self-released ‘Lesser Flamingo’ is Sherpa-concentrate captured and mixed by the exceptional James Dansey (The Ruby Suns, The Sneaks, Spring Break) and mastered by JJ Golden (Calexico, Devendra Banhart). “By being involved in the creative process at every level, Sherpa have managed to come out with something that feels personal and special, without falling into overindulgence” (Groove Guide, 4/5). The lovingly crafted debut single ‘Lunar Bats’, the hypnotic followup 'Samsong' and the acidic-pop flurry of ‘Turtles’ have all hit #1 on the bFM Top Ten.

A high-speed blend of blood, sweat and tears with bowl cuts, feathers and rainbow kaftans, Sherpa’s live show is both raw and flamboyant, energized and unashamedly fun.

With three self-directed music videos released so far this year (‘In Dolphins He Trusts’, 'Samsong' and the infamously gory 'Turtles') plus two more videos and a brand new single in the pipelines you can expect the words “Sherpa” and “Flamingo” to become mainstays in your music vocabulary.