VIVID aqua hair is usually the first sign Amy Sheppard has hit the stage.
Her massive vocals are the second.
But, as colourful as she is, its hard to believe the Brisbane-based singer and her family band grew up in Papua New Guinea.
“It’s where we grew up until high school, it was definitely a different upbringing now that I live in Australia,” Amy said.
“You can’t walk on the streets, you have to live behind gated communities but we really enjoyed our time there.
“Our songs have got a bit of a tropical vibe and I would say that’s where the PNG influence comes from.”
And now, the band is coming to Tamworth on the regional leg of their Watching the Sky tour.
Their song Geronimo just went double platinum in America, and Amy said she loves performing alongside her brother George and sister Emma in the indie pop band.
“George and I worked as a duo for a couple of years, then Jay Bovino came on board as another songwriter,” she said.
Shortly after Dean Gordon, Michael Butler and Jared Tredly joined the band.
Working with family has more pros than cons, Amy said.
“That’s for sure, we trust each other, we get along as friends – of course we have our sibling fights but they’re over in ten minutes,” she said.
“Papua New Guinea is a huge part of our lives, that’s where we learned to play music and it’s where a lot of our passion comes from.”
The new album is a relentlessly positive party album, a purposeful change from their first, more eclectic album Bombs Away.
Amy said the first album reflected the struggle to find the Sheppard sound.
“We’ve learned by trial and error,” she said.
“We did struggle to find what the Sheppard sound was and you can hear that on our first album, it was very eclectic and I think that was just our experimental stage – we were trying to figure out who we were as a band.”
Audiences can expect huge harmonies, big drums and happiness all round on the Watching the Sky tour.
When the album hit number one Sheppard decided it was time for a regional tour.
“We felt so humbled and excited so this is our way of saying thank you,” Amy said.
Sheppard plays at Tamworth West Leagues Club on Saturday September 15.