Londoner David John Sheppard has rarely strayed from being a creative dispenser of distinction. Sheppard dabbled in music while studying Film & Art History at Art School in Sheffield before getting serious at the dawn of the 1990s with short-lived baroque folk-rockers Balloon, who signed a major label deal with RCA in 1991. From around 1996, he has forged a polymath's career of unbridled yet warmly accessible exploration, initially in the shape of parallel operations with both Keiron Phelan (an old school friend) and Pete Astor (formerly of The Loft and The Weather Prophets). With Phelan, and drummer Jon Steel, came the pleasurable pastoral post-rock of State River Widening and the still theoretically on-going Phelan-Sheppard. With Astor came trusted sideman duties in the art-pop journeying of Matador recording artists The Wisdom Of Harry and an equal partnership as Ellis Island Sound, who explored their own bedroom electronica, Anglo acid-folk, Afro-Krautrock and pointillist minimalism. Not to mention his semi-solo endeavour with producer/arranger Chris Leary (Ochre), as Snow Palms, which yielded the percussion-led ambient and post-classical essays of 'Intervals' in 2012.
Multi-instrumentalist and composer David John Sheppard will release his new album 'Vertical Land' through Village Green on 8th June. Produced and mixed by Sheppard and Giles Barrett, the album was recorded at Soup Studios, London. The writer and orchestrator behind acclaimed UK instrumental projects State River Widening, Ellis Island Sound, Snow Palms and Leaf recording artists Phelan/Sheppard, 'Vertical Land' will be Sheppard's first bona fide solo album. Known for fusing avant-experiment and filmic atmospheres with a rich melodic and rhythmic sensibility, Sheppard was inspired to write 'Vertical Land' by his travels in summer/autumn 2013. Finding himself (not in the hippie sense, more serendipitously) in a series of mountainous landscapes, Sheppard was moved by the feeling of awe that arises when flying over or walking across huge land masses.