The Shifting Sands

Shifting Sands Trees3

THE SHIFTING SANDS – Cosmic Radio Station  (LP/CD/ Digital) – released October 2015

The 2nd album from The Shifting Sands is here! Astral psych-rock, dripping sundazed melody through a shifting haze of fuzzy, chiming guitars, shimmering strings, and vocal harmonies. Part past, part future. The cosmic radio station is on air.

The Shifting Sands – Feel              CD FISH008 – Released 2 April 2012


The Shifting Sands started as a collection of songs written by Michael McLeod after deciding to take a new direction from his previous band The Alpha State (who released an acclaimed album “Lines” on Failsafe Records in 2008). McLeod embarked upon making what began as a solo album, along the way collaborating with many of Dunedin’s finest musicians past and present, including David Kilgour (The Clean), Robert Scott (The Clean, The Bats), Robbie Yeats (The Verlaines, The Dead C), Lesley Paris (Look Blue Go Purple), Jay Clarkson (The Expendables, Breathing Cage), Rob Falconer (Operation Rolling Thunder), and Tony de Raad and Tom Bell (David Kilgour & the Heavy Eights).

Production duties were shared between Tex Houston (The 3Ds – Hellzapoppin, The Clean – Mister Pop) Thomas Bell (The Clean – Getaway, David Kilgour and Sam Hunt – Falling Debris, Left by Soft), and McLeod himself.

The debut album by The Shifting Sands is the kind of psychedelic pop we love at Fishrider Records, alternating between the dreamy and the urgent. While the hyper-melodic jangle-pop sometimes references the “Dunedin sound”, the injection of synthesizer and sitar into the mix turns everything on its head. As indeed does the balance of extremes provided by the almost weightless floating-on-air of the title track “Feel” against the surging Eastern drone-pop of “The Kitchen Sink”

The album seems soaked in the atmosphere of life on the remote South East coast of this unstable island on the edge of the world – the light and dark, the joy and melancholy, the open spaces of the inland planes and claustrophobia of Dunedin’s perimeter of often cloud-lined hills.

Listen to The Shifting Sands album on Bandcamp. The title track “Feel” and “Tonight” are available as free downloads.

Listen to the story of The Shifting Sands in a short interview with Mike McLeod on NZ National Radio’s Music 101 here. Find out what The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, a vegan restaurant, Lambchop & Yo La Tengo, the sea and Thursday night ping-pong in a Masonic Lodge all have to do with the making of the album “Feel” and it’s “weightless naturalistic psychedelia”.

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