Introducing Mystic Park and their debut album ‘Silver Lining’

“That’s the sort of thing you need to do so people come back to listen to an album. Pick up on things they didn’t hear the first or second time.”

Mystic Park, the solo project of frontman Shann Lions of Four Lions, has released his highly anticipated album, “Silver Lining.” This album serves as a musical chronicle of his personal journey, drawing inspiration from a tumultuous period in his life.

With influences ranging from The Cure to Neil Young, Mystic Park combines elements of cosmic country, pop, and art rock to create a unique and captivating sound.


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The creation of “Silver Lining” was a cathartic process for Shann Lions. It explores themes of loss, heartbreak, and resilience, delving into the darkest moments of his life. Through his heartfelt lyrics and soulful melodies, Mystic Park uses music as a form of therapy, transforming pain into art.

The album showcases Lions’ versatility as a musician and songwriter. With his involvement in writing and playing multiple instruments, each track on “Silver Lining” has its own unique character, while still contributing to the cohesive flow of the album. The guitar serves as the center point for each song, accompanied by synths and a carefully crafted balance of instrumentation.

Co-produced by Lions and Finn Keane at Head Gap studio, “Silver Lining” benefits from their collaboration, resulting in a rich and polished sound. The album experiments with interesting sounds and textures, pushing the boundaries of traditional song structures. The production quality is top-notch, creating an immersive listening experience for fans.

Accompanying the release of the album, Mystic Park has created a groundbreaking music video for the title track, “Silver Lining.” The video tells the story of an alien searching for his human friend, combining elements of science fiction and Japanese filmmaking. The visually stunning video perfectly complements the music and has garnered significant attention.

Fans can look forward to an unforgettable live experience when Mystic Park takes the stage. The band, consisting of a four-piece ensemble, delivers energetic performances with improvised jam sessions reminiscent of the Grateful Dead. The live shows are complemented by space-themed visuals, created by a talented filmmaker, adding an otherworldly element to the performance.

After the release of “Silver Lining,” Shann Lions has exciting plans for the future. This art project will be followed by new albums from Four Lions and Mystic Park. Additionally, Lions is involved in a punk band called Relays, with plans to release a four-song EP in the near future.

Ultimately, Shann Lions finds happiness in life’s simple pleasures and expresses gratitude for each day. Through his music, he invites listeners to join him on his emotional journey and discover their own silver linings.

We got the chance to pick at the brain behind the music and get to know the process of developing the project, so follow along for our chat with Mystic Park’s Shann Lions.

Happy: What are you up to today?

Mystic Park: Just working a day job with assisting the homeless across the state, getting a quote for crown for tooth that partially fell out at a Collingwood game last week, plus about to head home cause the dog groomer is coming over to give my mini schnauzer Lou Diamond Phillips a lit new cut. 

Happy: Tell us about where you are from? What’s the music scene like in your neck of the woods?

Mystic Park: Bendigo on Dja Dja Wurrung country, I’ve seen a change in the last year, an underground venue like Trash Cult and The Golden Vine Hotel plus more touring acts coming though like The Smith Street Band and Teenage Dads.

There seems to be some more diverse talent coming out of 3550 Mystic Park is part of that. Castlemaine aka North Northcote has done it right for touring acts and a vibrant local scene Bendigo is slowly catching up.

Happy: Describe an average day?

Mystic Park: Wake up and let the suffering begin. It varies day to day life is always about the balance of what I have one. Juggling full time work with semi professional hobbies and a personal life is always perplexing but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy: What about your ultimate day?

Mystic Park: Maybe brunch with the partner in a somewhere fancy, attend a basketball or afl game together or do something with fitness or a hike. Perhaps play a show or attend a gig. Room service and some wine to finish the evening. Doesn’t have to be that extravagant just memorable. 

Happy: What did you listen to growing up that fuelled your passion for music?

Mystic Park: I grew up in a musical household my father Waka is still playing in the same concert band after 40 years. He plays tuba, guitar, harmonica and yadaki. I didn’t pick up the guitar until I was 18 after dropping out of uni and working on a tomato farm. Something to do in my downtime living a town of 35 people, self taught no lessons thank you very much. 

Happy: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind Mystic Park and the journey that led to the creation of “Silver Lining”?

Mystic Park: I wrote about 90 songs which was going to be a double album for Four Lions. A rock album which became Four Lions 2021 album Wide Awake. There was to be a Sunday morning Americana album but we decided as a band to stick with the rock direction. So I thought I didn’t want to make an Americana album, so I made Silver Lining. It’s a singer songwriter album but the focus is synth and guitar with elements of cosmic country, pop and art rock. 

Happy: As the frontman of Four Lions, how did your experience with the band influence the sound and direction of Mystic Park?

Mystic Park: It’s just myself and Finn Keane playing most of the instruments on the Mystic Park album. We didn’t play the drums, pedal steel and double bass. As it was made during Covid it endured more prevalence of self reliance. Finn played Lead Guitar and Bass Synth.

I played electric/acoustic guitars, synth, piano, bass, melodian, harmonica and all the vocals. I think having less people presented a more spontaneous output as I was adding wig outs in songs inspired by binging on John Coltrane leading up to making the album.

I wrote the whole album no cowrites and co produced it with Finn Keane (Courtney Barnett, Augie March) at his studio Head Gap in Preston Vic Aus.

Happy: “Silver Lining” is said to be a musical chronicle of your personal journey. Can you elaborate on the themes and emotions explored in the album?

Mystic Park: It’s the biography lyrically of the darkest period over my life six months a near decade relationship broke up, my dog severed his leg needing a major operation and rehab, and a friend died. As a cathartic process I wrote about it, and I don’t need to give anyone my Medicare card in the process. Music is my therapy.

Happy: You mentioned drawing inspiration from artists like The Cure, War On Drugs, Neil Young, and Angelo Badalamenti. How did their work influence your creative process, and what elements did you incorporate into “Silver Lining”?

Mystic Park: I take elements from each act like their songwriting or production is a liquor and then put it in a blender and made Mystic Park Silver Lining. An example of that is the bass on ‘I Needed More’ is very Simon from The Cure in the fact it has Chorus, flanger and pushed up in the mix.

Or another example is the reverb plate all over the grand piano on ‘Same’ is directly inspired by Angelo’s work on David Lynch’s Twin Peaks soundtrack. It’s like painting and adding colourful strokes to a big canvas. I could go on…..

Happy: With your involvement in songwriting and playing multiple instruments, how did you ensure that each track on “Silver Lining” had its own unique character while still forming a cohesive album?

Mystic Park: I had the guitar as the centre point for every song and built each song outward from there. Synth was a must for each track too but sonically we ensured that nothing was taking away from any other instrumentation.

If you listen to modern music it’s mathematical it’s instrumentation of 3-4 elements in the verse to build to 5-6 in the chorus which may have been built up in the pre chorus. The human ear and if it’s untrained will listen to a few elements in a song like the beat, melody etc. Earworms! 

Happy: Could you share your experience of co-producing the album with Finn Keane at Head Gap studio? How did this collaboration contribute to the overall sound and production quality?

Mystic Park: As previously stated, Finn and I had a guitar, pedal board and respective synths in one room, amps in another, a grand piano and a bass rig. Finn was recording and then mixing.

I would be doing everything on the fly, just do not think too much cause I could hear where the song needed to go. I think this is how Finn was too, what I loved is he never said no he let me do my thing and I would push him and it may not be something he would do like played reverb on a piano.

But once in the mix he understood what I was trying to create. We purposely created interesting sounds, synths were run through amps, pedals, even the pedal steel through a Leslie and added in flanger. That’s the sort of thing you need to do so people come back to listen to an album. Pick up on things they didn’t hear the first or second time.

Happy: The AI-created music video for “Silver Lining” is described as groundbreaking. Can you tell us more about the concept behind it and how it complements the music?

Mystic Park: I wrote the concept which was an alien coming to a foreign planet and using a tape that his human friend had given to him to put into a telepathic stereo which hopes to summon him.

The human appears after a while then dies at the end so he leaves the tape beside his grave and is stuck alone on the planet. I was inspired by Japanese filmmaking for the ending. My mate Dave at Thrive Web Design live filmed it all over Bendigo and Harcourt and then edited it all in AI, he’s an amazing talent.

The video has been so well received, front page of the local paper, numerous interviews about it on national ABC radio. But still awaiting Rage to play it that’s the dream anyway.    

Happy: How do you envision the live shows accompanying the album release? What can fans expect in terms of visuals and the overall experience?

Mystic Park: The band is running hot we are a four piece and the shows we have played there has been lots of improvised wig outs like the grateful dead. The visuals we play behind were made by a friend who’s a film maker in Argentina.

Everything is space themed including the visuals, the band and myself. We have an alien mascot ‘Eugene’ whom attends all shows too, I was inspired for the live show by The Flaming Lips they are the kings of the live out of the world show. 

Happy: What does the future hold for Mystic Park after the release of “Silver Lining”? 

Mystic Park: This is an art project so like all art it is limited and shown briefly. I expect post November that this band will be shelved for a few years. I will be writing a new Four Lions album and another Mystic Park album plus I’ve got a three piece 80’s punk band called Relays whom are rehearsing and making a four song EP in October. 

Happy: Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations you’re excited about?

Mystic Park: Relays it’s a 80’s punk band think Dead Kennedys, making a 7 inch 4 song ep in 11 minutes. First single out November, vinyl out Feb 2024.  

Happy: Lastly, what makes you happy?

Mystic Park: Simple pleasures, a cup of coffee, a kiss, a song, to watch how a tree moves in the wind and mindfully think about just that one thing in that moment. I’m thankful for everyday. Gratitude. 

Check out the album, and be sure to catch Mystic Park at Brunswick Artist Bar on July 14, Taproom Castlemaine  on July 23, Golden Vine Bendigo on August 19, and Tanswells Beechworth on November 11!