Shining Bird – Revisiting Shade of the Sea

I wouldn’t be surprised if the City of Wollongong announced that they had changed their mascot to a bright, sparkling bird (If you’ve read the headline then you’ll get where I’m going with this poorly constructed joke). Shining Bird have made some serious waves on the music scene as of late and they’re certainly doing the old Gong proud as they continue to make confidant strides in developing their dreamy, harmonious craft. So why not take a trip down nostalgia lane and revisit their first EP Shade of the Sea!

Shining Bird

Nostalgia trip! Let your mind wander back to 2012 with the Shade of the Sea EP from Shining Bird. Catch them at JAWS tomorrow!

It’s 2012. It was the Australian Year of the Framer, Green Moon won the Melbourne Cup, and the man who would one day lead our country proved he had the most bizarre form of turrets by foolishly offending the Tent Embassy, and then hilariously paying for his stupidity. It was also the year that world was introduced to Wollongong’s Shining Bird, and man, that certainly made up for a few things.

Their debut EP Shade of the Sea laid a solid foundation for the band, the six track recording was a great sign of things to come. The title itself best exemplified their playful and clever way with imagery. The notion of sitting in the shade of the sea is indeed a mind numbingly relaxing one, yet the prospect of literally being in the shade of the sea is ridiculously terrifying. That dry wit is something that Shining Bird has done really well and continue to do.

One of the most distinguishing things about this EP is front man Dane Taylor’s deep, soothing voice, his measured delivery of each line sitting on a Barry White-esque level of sexiness, particularly on Lost In Translation. If you manage to keep yourself together whilst listening to these smooth vocals you’ll notice those inspired lyrics. “You’ll close your eyes, to taste the sun” from Keep Warm is an incredibly accurate way to perceive how we Australians welcome Summer and our brightly burning Sun god.

Each track swells and grows like the churning ocean, the instrumentation is genuinely beautiful and the band make it clear that this EP is the only soundtrack you need on hand during a lazy, 38 degree arvo. In addition to the delicate instrumentation is the little bells and whistles that are added to each of the recordings. Samples of seagulls, waves crashing onto the beach, the wind blowing against the sand and people softly chatting in the sun are all used to great effect to truly encapsulate both magic and ordinary of the Australian summer.

If you haven’t acquainted yourself with Shining Bird then you wouldn’t be wrong to start with their mellow Shade of the Sea EP first before moving on to their more lively full length effort. Regardless, whether it be in the past or present, Shining Bird remain as charming as ever. And looking to the future, be sure to give them a look in at the Jam Gallery in Bondi as a part of JAWS tomorrow night 7 November. The JAWS team are certainly developing a knack for putting together some memorable shows, so be sure to pop in to see Shining Bird play alongside Tees and Cody Munro Moore. And did I mention the gig is free? As if you needed enough reasons to get you butt down there.



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