by Maxwell Asper
VANCOUVER – It doesn’t seem like Sheldon Cole is afraid to make bold leaps of faith, something that is certainly incorporated into his progressive and experimental folk-rock sound. That being said, Cole still has the hesitation and fear shared by anyone dealing with the pressures of young-adulthood and the disparity involved with the feeling that you’re just not in the right place yet. What has allowed the young artist to parse through the battlefield and angst of being a young and confused twenty-something is his ability to be brave and let his innate passion guide him.
Cole’s hunger to grow as an artist has always seemed to fuel him. The earliest memories the Surrey-born, Newberg, Oregon-raised musician has are of a primitive desire to just sing – around the house, in the shower, in his room alone. Naturally, he was enamored with his K-12 school’s mandatory choir program, leading him to pick up both piano and guitar before the age of 12. Cole would continue to refine his musicality through his adolescence in Newberg, eventually heading North to Vancouver so he could attend university at Trinity Western.
While at Trinity, Cole felt “disillusioned with university,” and was plagued with a need to travel, so he dropped out, now on the move again. The young musician crossed Europe to Belarus. Armed with an old picture of his relatives, he learned of his origins, meeting his distant family members and spending a couple weeks learning their small-village way of life. Upon returning home, the young musician was motivated and felt he “owed it to [his] family to see how far [he] could take things” after understanding his circumstance versus theirs. Cole then enrolled in UBC, and began studying political science with an intention to pursue a law degree, leaving music on the sidelines.
It’s great to let your passions guide you, but sometimes the passion can be clearer than the path you are trying to decipher. Cole dropped out of university once again, realizing that perhaps his motivation was misguided. But he didn’t have time for pause, as he was on to his next appetite, the city of Detroit, which he became obsessed with while at UBC. Cole would move there for summer 2016, interviewing people around the city and imbedding himself within the house-show scene, resurging his music career in the process. Once again impassioned, Cole wrote his first solo EP, which is aptly titled Detroit.
Today, Cole feels like he’s deciphered his path clearly. Cole’s head is held high as he is soon to embark on a 52-city house-show tour, and he’s overjoyed to talk about his new Dark EP, which will be released on June 16. Despite living such a spontaneous and adverse life, Cole has a calm demeanor, perhaps because his passion, for the first time, is aligned with his destiny.
Sheldoncole performs on June 15 at Studio Records (919 Granville)sheldon cole, studio records