It has been only one year since Denver's Sharone & the Wind released its debut album, Storm, but the quintet is already back with a followup, called Enchiridion of Nightmares.
If that seems like a quick turnaround for a sophomore effort, consider this: Bandleader Sharone Borick, (who goes by Sharone – like Sting or Cher) says she wrote 60 percent of Enchiridion of Nightmares in one day.
"Writing this album was an elongated therapy session that I so desperately needed," she says. "The same event that inspired me to write the album pushed me to get it out as soon as possible in order to make the statement that nothing could stop me or slow me down."
Certainly, it appears that Sharone & the Wind is headed for bigger and better things. The band offers a dramatic take on alt-pop rock, led by pianist Michelle Bailey's larger-than-life playing style and Sharone's distinctive alto singing voice. Think Evanescence without the hip-hop influence and with a healthy interest in horror stories, and you're in Sharone & the Wind's ballpark. Guitarist Alex Goldsmith, bassist Zach Barrera and drummer Anthony Hester round out the lineup.
Sharone & the Wind will celebrate the release of the new album with an April 13 show at the Marquis Theater. Westword caught up with Sharone to talk about Enchiridion of Nightmares and how it came to be.
Westword: Are you originally from Denver?
Sharone: Most people probably don’t know this about me, but I’m originally from Israel. I’ve lived in Denver since I was six years old.
Tell me, generally, about how you first got interested in music, started writing songs and began playing out in public.
I grew up listening to artists like Celine Dion, Bonnie Tyler and P!nk. I was captivated by everything they did. Their lyrics, the way their faces changed when they sang different notes, their physical expressions on stage, everything. I started taking classical piano lessons when I was seven years old, and instantly fell in love with it. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was that reeled me in, but it felt like I never wanted to stop. After about a year of classical training, I began experimenting with my own ideas and melodies that popped into my head. I wrote my first song when I was eight years old. I haven’t stopped since. In late 2013, my depression got the best of me, and I fell into a really bad place. During that time, a friend of mine reached out to Aaron Saye of Seventh Circle Music Collective, and asked him to put me on a show, because he knew I just needed to be on stage. Three months later I played my first show.
I'm not normally a "What's the album title all about?" kind of guy, but this one is different. Why did you call it Enchiridion of Nightmares?
An enchiridion is a book or collection of information on one general topic. This album is a collection of stories that I wrote about the nightmares that occurred in my waking life.
Is this a concept album? Or is there an over-arching theme that runs through the songs?
There is an ongoing “horror” theme throughout the majority of the album. I don’t write concept albums. The idea doesn’t feel natural to me. Limiting my creativity like that puts me in a box, and one thing that I’ve always loved about writing music is having total freedom and making it whatever I wanted it to be. The horror theme of this album came from my fascination with vintage and modern horror films and novels at the time that I was writing these songs. I was writing about feelings of anger, pain, fear and loneliness, and the themes I picked up on in the media I was digesting fit those feelings perfectly.
Your band changed completely after the release of Storm. Why?
Our first lineup deteriorating is exactly what inspired me to write Enchiridion of Nightmares. A lot of the songs on the new album were inspired by the dissolution of the original band, the circumstances under which it happened, as well as how it made me feel at the time and how it changed me. I won’t go into detail about why the first lineup fell apart, but I will say that losing my band, and how it happened, took a really big toll on me. I felt very alone, betrayed, angry, and just devastated. It was probably the most difficult point in my life. It changed me forever. But in hindsight, I’m glad it happened, because otherwise I wouldn’t have found my current bandmates, who complete my world, and we wouldn’t have made such a kickass album together.
I've seen you reference "chaos" several times. What is it about chaos that appeals to you, and how does it manifest itself on this new album?
The way that I’ve always dealt with the chaos in my life is by writing music. That’s my coping mechanism, and that’s where my inspiration comes from. I think that if I’m happy, I’m useless; I don’t feel the need to create. Had my first lineup not fallen apart, I wouldn’t have written all these songs that I’m so proud of. I think that chaos always finds its way into my life, because the universe knows that I need it in order to be inspired to write more music. At least that’s what I’m hoping, and that I’m not just forever cursed.
What do you hope people will get out of Enchiridion of Nightmares?
My biggest goal with releasing this album is to show people that even in the darkest of times, light finds its way, and that no matter what, you are not alone. Unfortunately, there will always be people in your life who try to tear you down. What I’ve learned is that all you can do is “kill them with success and bury them with a big smile."
Last but not least, do you feel like you exorcised the demons you needed to while creating this album? If so, what do you write about next time?
Absolutely. Creating this album allowed me to cope with what I went through. The tenth track on the album, “Exorcist." is about exactly that: carrying anxiety that came from trauma, and coming to a place where you tell yourself to slow down for a little while and take the time that you need to deal with what you went through and heal from it. “Exorcism, give me life. I need to find my mind. Save me from the devil inside" — the devil being anxiety. The song is essentially about exorcising your anxiety. Now that I’ve completed this album, I’m ready to move forward with my bandmates, expand our sound and grow as a person. I’ve been going through a bit of a transformation recently, and I think it will be visible on future records. We have a lot of tricks up our sleeves for the future, so stick around.
Sharone & the Wind, with Mr. Atomic, the Undertakers and Amalgam Effect, 7 p.m. Friday, April 13, Marquis Theater, 2009 Larimer Street, 303-487-0111, $10-$12.