Echoes and Anchors (April 17/2018, independent) is the debut album from Ottawa, Ontario based rock group Lions Leading Sheep. It is an album about love, loss, hope, despair and everything in between. Musically dynamic, lyrically raw, and creatively fresh - soaring choruses and blistering drums, intricate melodies and powerful vocals - everyone can find something to hold on to here.
These ten songs, born of personal tragedy, were originally written as little more than a coping mechanism for grief. When studio vocalist Kelby Dover (Kid Politics / Nashville, TN) brought new life to the songs with his anthemic voice, Krystopher Blaney (guitar / songwriter / producer) and Brian Prier (drums) saw true potential in the album. In December 2017, they recruited friends and former bandmates Rob Pretty (vocals) and Denis Boyer (guitar) and became Lions Leading Sheep. Production wrapped on the album at the end of February 2018, and it is set for release on April 17th physically and across all major digital platforms.
Krystopher Blaney - Guitar / Keys
Rob Pretty - Vocals / Keys
Brian Prieur - Drums
Denis Boyer - Guitar
With decades of performance and composition experience between them, the members of Lions Leading Sheep have drawn from a vast well of musical inspiration - from rock, metal, folk, pop, stage musicals - to forge a sound that is uniquely their own. The plans are laid for 2018: shortly after the release of Echoes and Anchors, the band are looking to take a larger-than-life live concert experience on the road in promotion of the album. They are also slated to begin filming a music video for "Shapeshifter" in early April, directed by Adam Kirkey of Slinger Pictures.
1. Calamity Overture
At the first sign of light, I'm up for the day. Did I even sleep? The cave is collapsing into the night, but I've found solace in the dark. I'd hold you closer and bathe in your brilliance, but they warned me about your type. It's never as simple as sounds on the radio. I'll find my own way, head first and hard way, don't care what you say. Who are you to tell me how? If I've heard it once, I've heard it all before.
2. Old Fury
Time is nothing but a cruel merchant, dealing in stories, memories and hope. We try to cultivate our fortunes to leave the ones we love a little meaning. When we are gone, a legend will live on. We must break before we grow; you told me so. This grief is just love with nowhere to go, but we buried you before I let you know. Now every tomorrow will never be as sweet as yesterday. My eyes are burning and turning to dust, I can't weep anymore. We can't save this land, but we will tell the tales of times you should have seen. Remember Old Fury. We'll pass on the echoes that anchor us down. We'll share a myth over a fifth and hope that we don't drown. Tomorrow will never be as sweet as yesterday, but today? We'll see.
I still try to skirt the line of who I am and what I've left behind; the best of times lost to the aether. Your song as cold as your hollow eyes, how many days before I realize all the words that never left my lips? It's been too long, it's time that you came home. I close my eyes and pray that I won't wake up alone. So save the date and swear you won't be late - I need a rest from the great despair to salvage what's left of my soul. Birthdays and anniversaries; will it get easier for me? An empty seat in an empty home. It's hard to feel like we're not alone when a smiling face tells you "life goes on." Do you know something that I don't? I cannot do this on my own.
4. When You Do Everything Right
I woke up on the lawn and, for a minute, forgot you were gone. Do you have to remind me every day? I've been watching the stars, trying to find where you are. I think I might go blind tonight. The vermilion bird is still singing the last song you heard; I've got the tune stuck in my head. The crops are growing and times keeps rolling, but I feel like we've been standing still. You said you'd be home soon. When you do everything right, what can go wrong? You said this was a detour. I guess you weren't wrong; you took the scenic way home. Another month gone. I may be wrong, but it feels like so long. This routine is a heavy weight. The last time I saw you was long after you died; I feel your heart and soul inside. You said you'd be home. When you do everything right, no one will know you've done anything at all.
5. The Bevelle Machina
I felt the fall a long time ago. I kissed the dirty ground like it was yours again. The hope was always there that you'd come home some day. My first and only prayer was to see your face and hear your voice again, just once. But I'm starting to feel like I've been running around chasing something I can never find. I do hope you realize that when I wake up in the middle of the night, it's you I see right next to me.. or is it still a dream? I feel like I've been saved by a deus ex machina. A little bit of dissonance, a voice calling from the sky sings "oh, sweet child." The winter has never been so cold; something's amiss. I scream, like a privateer, "God damn them all. I was told we'd sail the seas for American gold; we'd fire no guns, shed no tears." I'm a broken man from Glengarry just trying to count the years.
"We've got the tools we need to make this soil into more than dirt," she said as she took off her skirt. I see the crucifix on your wall, but you never speak of miracles; only take my name in vain. You'd know that I don't ask for much if only you would listen to me. I clench my fist and hold my breath, try to weather ego death and tell you just what you mean to me. One by one the barriers fall, exposing what lies behind these walls. I've built my motherworld. You're cold, you're numb, but don't play dumb - you remember the good times. Yeah, we've had our fun. We were reckless; kids in a candy store. I'll act like an adult if you follow my lead. We can have everything that we'll ever need if you believe we can make it through tonight. I promise you, I'll do the best I can with what I've got. I hope. Hold fast to the ones that you love. If we didn't have this shit luck then we'd have no luck at all. Talk low, talk slow, don't talk too much - you learn much more when you listen, so keep an ear to the ground.
7. The Anchor
And the water began to rise; I felt the cool breeze from the tide. The storm, it came without warning, but smooth seas never made skilled sailors. While the waves carried some away, you held me firmly in my place to see the dawn of the next day. You've shown me the way. You're my anchor, weighing heavy on my mind. I know we'll make it through; I've placed my faith in you. When it hurts too much and I feel like I can't go on anymore, you point me to the shore.
Keep your chin up, you've found a foil; digging up lady luck's barren soil. You've found a friend in a fever dream. It's not that I'm bad company; I just like to run my mouth, you see. I am a wolf in the wild. Is this how it's gotta be? A black cloud hanging over me, until the sun breaks through and shines the light upon my brand new face. You've cut me up and worn me out, but I paint a smile over the doubt. The pieces left behind form nothing but small fractions of a self. Is there something wrong with me? I don't care if you are clean. I'm turning over a new leaf. Steal the air from my lungs, let me be all that you breathe. We'll make each other dirty. I'll tell it all and tell it true, if you're ready. I'm not the man you thought you knew, I'm a shapeshifter. Back from the dead, I'm born anew - no absolution, no pretext for the things I do. I'm a shapeshifter.
9. A Fond Farewell
There's no easy way to say goodbye to you. The words hang in the air, twisted and bent, hollow and cold. How am I supposed to sum up what you meant to me when I can barely breathe? The light has left with you. As if there was any doubt, I am my father's son. I try to smile through the pain, try to stay strong. But I fall apart. There is no secret, it's just going to hurt for a while - for a lifetime at least. But we hold our heads up and face the next morning - the sunrise is brighter, but something is missing. It's you, and it's us missing you. As if there was any doubt, I am my father's son. I try to see light through the tears, to find something worth saying, like "I love you," and "I miss you," and "I wish you were here with us," and "thank you for being the man that you were." I wish you safe passage, I bid you a fond farewell.
There's a necessary evil - a black to the white, a darkness to the light, a reason to fight. A climax and an ending. A notion worth defending until the end is near, until the final seconds fade. This is the path that I chose for myself, time to raise my voice and sing it out loud, it's my turn to live it out. I'll find my own way, head first and hard way, don't care what you say.