We don’t really get a lot of straight up pop music here at Cut From Steel. One theory for this is that there don’t seem to be very many independent pop musicians these days. Pop music gets a bad reputation on blogs because of the way it is mass produced, marketed, created, packaged… all of that ‘making the band’ type stuff that floods our radio stations.
Anyway, I was happy to discover NYC’s Sheare this winter. Brandon Sheer a.k.a. Sheare is a pop musician who writes his own music! What a novel idea.
If you don’t like pop music, you won’t like this album. Fair enough. This album is fantastic, and as a person who grew up on brit-pop and the Backstreet boys I am thrilled to discover some genuine pop music that I can listen to as a fully grown woman. The songs are well crafted, Brandon has a really nice voice, and the production values on this EP are excellent.
Bottom Line: Download this if you like pop music that’s genuine and well done.
I caught up with Sheare for a quick Q&A:
Q – Can you tell us about why you chose to name your album Singularity and what the significance of that is to you? (I’m asking because I’ve read about Ray Kurzwell’s definition of The Singularity and I find it interesting.)
When I first started writing songs for the new EP, I was just coming off releasing/promoting my debut EP, “Somebody Else”. I had been working on my first EP on and off for nearly 3 years, so needless to say I felt I put a lot of stock into it time wise. I was quite naive at the time as to what releasing music as an independent artist was like, but I genuinely had this grandiose vision that my EP was somehow going to become gar bigger than just a self-release. I felt this way despite the reality that I had no manager, no label, no publicists. It was a self-release in the greatest sense of the term. I learned very quickly how difficult it is to get people to care. The summer was approaching and I was continuing to reach out to people, whether it be blogs, or managers or whomever, I was really throwing all my cards on the table with it. I started learn how rare it was to get a response, even if that response was a “NO”. Most of the time I wouldn’t hear anything, which a lot of people know, is the loudest answer imaginable. When I did hear back, It was because the person was away on holiday and their email would send back an automotive answer.
I suppose in many ways I wrote “Singularity” as a response to my feelings of going unnoticed both musically and personally. The EP’s title is definitely a nod to Ray Kurzwell’s theory, which he hypothesizes that eventually technology will beyond human compression and we will inevitably be replaced by artificial intelligence. Other than being really interested in the future (as depicted with my music video for Outside) I felt the title just fit the themes of the new music. I also just feel in some ways the music industry has lost a lot of it’s human aspects to it.
Q – Where do you think pop music is headed?
I think it’s both a really exciting and in some ways scary time for all types music. I feel now more than ever there is just so much content bombarding every one that its really hard for people to cut through all the utter shit that is thrown in front of them. Personally I love when I see artists like A Great Big World have a hit…”Say Something” is such simple, well crafted organic song. The production is essentially based around the song vs the other way around.
I feel like music starting to veer away from everything being so heavily electronically programmed. I was feeling very heavy hearted the last few years over this trend that seemed to replace real instruments with computers. I also say this as someone who just released a remix, and loves some types of dance music.
Q – Where do you hope to be 1 year from now?
I think my expectations are far more in check now than ever. I supposed I’ve always dreamed of being successful to the point where I am playing arenas and am the topic of conversation of awkward crowded-elevator rides. I’d settle for being successful enough to just be happy and be able to keep making music even if it’s only being received on a small scale. In short, I hope in a year from now I have one of those two outcomes happen for me.