In The Middle with The Sherlocks

Last week Esme McGowan caught up with Kiaran, lead singer of The Sherlocks, to see how he was feeling ahead of the release of their second album, Under Your Sky

“Yeah it feels a bit surreal to be fair” admits Kiaran, when asked about the fact that their second album is coming out in just two days. Despite their previous success with Live for the Moment, it is clear that The Sherlocks are still very much down to earth and conscious that they haven’t quite hit the level of success they aim for, as Kiaran believes they’ve still “got a lot more growing to do” in order to “prove themselves”. This almost self-deprecating attitude surprises me a little, for an ambitious band like this there is certainly a lot more they have to offer. Nevertheless, with only two albums out so far Kiaran isn’t going to stop there, saying “there’s going to be another album… consecutive, one after the other, for quite a while” simply in order to “stay in front” in such a competitive market. 

It isn’t simply practicality that keeps The Sherlocks writing and constantly working on new music, this album has been in the pipeline since before their debut album (released in 2017), with a number of tracks being included that didn’t quite make the cut last time. Even now, the band “already have a few tunes for the third album” and Kiaran cannot be stopped, saying “every day I try to write, just sat on an acoustic guitar, just writing songs”. It is clear that no matter what happens this band will be creating new music and it makes sense because, as Kiaran says, “once you’ve written a song it’s not going anywhere.”

There has been a slight changein the creative process for this album as demo tracks were made for the songs that Kiaran (primary songwriter for the band) believed would suit it. This helped the rest of the band to “get where [the album] was going” and “work on their own parts”, but Kiaran jokingly states that “usually the song is pretty fully formed by the time it gets to them, lucky for them!”.

There will be no rest, despite the new album, as the boys have a busy season of gigs and acoustic sets coming up over the next few months. When asked how he feels about the change to more intimate, in-store sessions, Kiaran is clearly excited as they’ve “never really done this acoustic thing before”. The prospect is certainly different to their current repertoire of big British festivals and performances with the likes of the Kaiser Chiefs, The Vaccines and The Libertines. More recently, they even travelled to Japand and South Korea with huge success, “you see people singing songs and stuff… it just blows your mind”, with Kiaran jokingly claiming it’s “completely different to a Saturday night in Liverpool”. Closer to home, The Sherlocks played at Elland Road last year, which, in Kiaran’s perfectly succinct words, was “insane” and certainly something special for a band that have toured all around the world. 

Looking at it from it from an outsider’s perspective it’s impressive to see the sheer scale at which The Sherlocks have risen in the past two years. Even with just a few singles out, it is clear that the band’s popularity hasn’t dipped, with ‘Waiting’ and ‘NYC (Sing it Loud)’ both being named Record of the Week by Radio X. In Kiaran’s words, the support from fans has “just carried on from the first album” and there is certainly relief that comes from this as the band’s focus does not seem to be commercial success, rather a more organic creative process, as they have “just been writing, not really thinking about it, just writing, the same as always”.

Although he claims that the band “don’t fully qualify to give advice”, Kiaran gives some good pointers for anyone out there still trying to get their break; “I just feel like the basics are to write good songs and most importantly just enjoy it… don’t take it too seriously”. Quality is clearly something they constantly strive for, but although The Sherlocks are always busy trying to keep ahead of the curve and working on music, it is obvious that they do also have a lot of fun. When asked if he gets nervous before shows Kiaran comfortably states “no, not really… there’s not really a lot that can go wrong”; this attitude seems to be the key to their success. Working hard and perfecting their craft is certainly important, but at the root of it all is sheer enjoyment and a pure love for music.

Esme McGowan