The rich variety of influences that can inspire and guide a musician never ceases to surprise. For Alex Sheppard it was a trip to the historically prominent city of Istanbul, Turkey, and the exploration of digital workshops on his girlfriend’s laptop that led this Kansas artist to his current electronically led sound. ‘Cellophane’ is only the second track to be released alongside keyboardist Cooper Neil under his new name Pageant Boys, but the stylish composition of withering R&B and cowboy guitars already seems so certain of itself. Its clever use of minimalism that breathes through the heartache, not for a lost love or personal disappointment, but for a young generation who are lost in a world of social media, virtual reality, post-truths and potential desensitisation to what really matters. Sheppard isn't preaching, he's sympathising, wanting those individuals to see through the digital cellophane their wrapped up in. - HT