I’m always a bit apprehensive when I see Ed Sheeran cited as an influence on a young artist. Don’t get me wrong, there’s worse people to look up to, it’s just that I remember him as a young musical scruff, sofa surfing his way around the circuit, hungry to find a way into the industry rather than the go to indie-pop weirdo, friend of the stars that he has become.
Thankfully, Shane Guerrette has much more in common with that younger Ed, the one who I remember chatting to over a beer in a club dressing room all those years ago before it all went horribly right. And just as Ed used the folk and acoustica of his homeland’s traditions to create the basis for his commercially accessible sound, Shane does the same with his. Yes, it falls easy on the ear but it is built from more complex stuff than your average guy with a guitar. Hendrix-esque guitar noodles tumble alongside raw bluesy bluster, country grooves and solid rock drives. A mere pop sound this is not!
And that is what will work for Shane in the long run. Rather than dumb down the music, he just blends the various threads well so that no rough edges or difficult curves trip up the pop fans who will undoubtedly latch on to his songs. But well concealed as they are, those who desire a more integral and textured sound will also find that there is a lot to satisfy their requirements. A young singer-songwriter with mainstream appeal AND depth? What is the world coming to?