Musician Spotlight: Sheldoncole

The collaboration of two brothers brings a new kind of music to the scene.

Afton Weaver, Staff Reporter

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On Dec. 21, 2016, musical duo Sheldoncole released their brand new EP, titled “Detroit.”

Sheldoncole, consists of two brothers, Sheldon and Nic Kozushko, who recently came together to pursue their dream of making music. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, the pair of singer-songwriters has been performing the tracks of their recently released EP locally and are currently working on a new single.

Drawing inspiration from artists like Dallas Green, Jack Johnson, Gregory Alan Isakov and Noah Gunderson, Sheldoncole has discovered their own sound in experimental folk. The band has only released a handful of songs, but each rings with originality and purpose. One song, titled “West Coast,” expresses the connection one has to the past while another titled “Live For Love” contemplates the preciousness of life’s every moment. The EP has a total of five tracks that put a new twist on acoustic folk instrumentation.

“[The songs] ponder the questions of life and death, love, faith and pain,” Sheldon said.
The soft acoustics, combined with Sheldon’s soulful voice, help to capture the nostalgic feel of the lyrics, creating a calming mood for the listener. In addition to the traditional song format, Sheldon also performs his poetic lyrics through spoken word in his song “Detroit.”

“And goodbyes ain’t easy this much I know/ I worry because I am coming home,” Sheldon sings in “West Coast.”

These lyrics illustrate nostalgia, one of many themes echoed throughout Sheldoncole’s new EP.

Inspired by Sheldon Kozushko’s first-hand experiences in the heart of Detroit, the EP’s songs also emphasize love triumphing over hate.

“We want to use love over hate as an umbrella,” Sheldon said. “We want to put it at the forefront of what we stand for.”

Sheldon sojourned to Detroit to gain inspiration for his freelance journalism. There he developed relationships and was exposed to different art forms, landscapes and lifestyles that served as inspiration for him in his music and journalism. His self-expression took a different form as his journalism transitioned into music.

“Travel is a huge inspiration and source of growth for my music,” Sheldon said.

Sheldon shared his songwriting process, comparing it to a volcano.

“There’s all this tension building up in my life,” Sheldon said. “Eventually I can’t hold it in anymore and the best way to deal with it is to write music.”

He describes his music as personal, emerging from real stories and experiences. There is no rubric or plan, just irregular intervals of thought that translate into song.

Music has dominated every aspect of the Kozushko brothers’ lives. Exposed to music from childhood, Sheldon and Nic began performing in coffee shops, school events and local gigs.

“When there’s some kind of music happening to you every day, it helps you grow and develop musically,” Sheldon said.

Sheldon and Nic have recently begun work on their second EP, which will take the music in a different direction, encompassing the genre of experimental folk. This July, Sheldoncole will begin their two month tour through 50 cities, with Walla Walla as a possible destination.

Although they have preformed in a variety of settings for a diverse number of audiences, on this tour the band will be performing in more unconventional settings–people’s homes.

“We’re very passionate about where we perform, but we found our favorite space to be somebody’s home,” Sheldon said.

House shows allow Sheldoncole to create a more sacred space for art and music while creating an intimate experience that allows the band to have closer connection with the audience. At a recent house show, the band was accompanied by a spoken word artist and displayed local artwork in the space.

Sheldoncole’s music is available on Spotify, iTunes and at Sheldoncole.com. They can also be found on social media.

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