The Sheyana Band features London-born and Tasmanian based, award winning singer-songwriter, Sheyana Wijesingha. The band have received national and international recognition and airplay, supporting some of Australia’s most respected musicians. 2018 saw the band release their album “Big Love”, which was mixed by Russell Pilling at Damien Gerard Studios, Sydney through Foghorn Music, and mastered by Grammy award winner William Bowden of King Willy Sound. The Sheyana Band is Sheyana Wijesingha (Vocals, Acoustic and Electric Guitars), Scott Mainwaring (Lead Guitars, Vocals), Dan Jeffrey (Bass Guitars) and Beau Thomas (Drums, Percussion, Vocals). Hard-hitting southern rock and blues outfit The Sheyana Band tear up the highway with their killer riffs, swampy swagger and earth-shattering front lady Sheyana. In total the album holds fourteen gut-bursting tracks, although the band carefully toe the line between all-out roots rock n’ roll and gentler, soulful blues songs, twisting and turning through energetic rhythms and emotional stories.
The songwriting, playing, chemistry and urgency inherent in “Big Love” is close to perfection. Ragged, beautiful perfection. If someone asks you for a representation of Southern rock and roll music, play them this album. This is simply great music. These songs pack a punch with outstanding musicianship and soothe the soul with intelligent lyrics.
Few groups nowadays can combine lyrical depth with musical prowess, but the The Sheyana Band excel at both. Their appeal will cross age groups, gender, geographic location, and social status.
They are the independent band that even your mainstream-listening friends will love. Their music has an infectiousness, yet is incredibly deep. And with a head full of momentum and a growing mantle of critical accolades and accomplishments, The Sheyana Band have just released a most gratifying album.
When the opening title track kicks in, you’ll notice that the song construction is smart, the melody is fat, the turns of phrases are sharp, and the choruses rise under their own volition, as opposed to the forced action of the pop music trash.
On “Blindside”, the sound is full, which gives guitarist Scott Mainwaring the freedom to stretch his legs in many segments. In fact Scott forms part of the backbone of The Sheyana Band’s sound.
His guitar playing features some of the most tasteful tones and phrasing I’ve heard in rock-orientated music in the last few years. Something he quickly showcases on the bouncy crunch of “Honesty”. “Keep The Change” makes the switch to a mid-tempo Americana-type sound – all melodic and heartfelt.
After which time, the beautiful strung ballad, “Mr Jackson” makes its appearance, to put you in a reflective and dreamy mood. It’s also solo time for Mr. Mainwaring, who puts the cherry on top of the song.
The music of The Sheyana Band may be infectious, but for the full-bodied experience, you must delve into the story of their songs, and the voice of Sheyana Wijesingha, and how they intertwine. And boy do they blend well on “Stories”, one of the album’s truly outstanding songs. If not the outright best song of them all. Over and above Sheyana’s stunningly emotive voice, Scott’s guitar is simply sublime here.
“The Middle” against puts the tiger in the sonic tank, with an intense and driving forward momentum. The second album standout comes in the shape of the bluesy “Soul Sister”, with its slow rhythmic groove and Sheyana’s gritty croon.
At this point, the album has moved into overdrive, and The Sheyana Band set fire to the upbeat rocker, “Your Will”. “Borderline” presents the third outright album highpoint – superb guitar tones from Scott, which is no longer a surprise, as well as great lead vocals and harmonies all-round.
Gentle and beautiful, there’s a powerful simplicity in the emotional “On My Mind”, where once more Sheyana truly shines with her vocal nuances. “Happy To Be” is one of those Southern rock songs that simply demand to be played at top volume.
If its rock n’ roll you crave, then look no further than “Red Girl” and the album closer “Roll Like a Rock”, which will satisfy your need for over-driven guitars and soaring choruses. The Sheyana Band are in a class by themselves, proving you can do things your own way and do it successfully. “Big Love” is a record that is certainly one of the “must haves” of the year, and one that is sure to draw in listeners from all over the world.