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From the little known South African town of Bethlehem comes a singer-songwriter whose debut record is so strikingly of the times it'll fast be soundtracking the lives of individuals across the globe.

Titled Truth and Recession, the 13-track record introduces Brendon Shields' music to a broader public for the first time -- close to a year after his songs earned him a publishing deal with Sony/ATV South Africa.

Shield's exquisitely rendered tales of love and survival have also seen him become the first signing to MIA Records, the Joburg-based distributor of several key international indie labels including Sub Pop, New West Records and Thrill Jockey. This places Shields in the company of the likes of Steve Earle, Fleet Foxes, and Low, his tender, frequently melancholic, vignettes of life lived in "pre-recession shoes" fitting in comfortably with these kind-of artists.

The arrival of Truth and Recession is being preceded by the release of the record's first single, "Rockstardom" -- a bleak yet deeply heartfelt song about hope in impossible times. "But can I you this song about our future/maybe your little heart will hurt a little less/and if I promise you I'm going to be a rockstar/Babe this situation is a mess/when rockstardom is the only option left," Shields sings in his carefully modulated voice that sits atop the simplest of music arrangements.

Indeed, its Shield's lyrics that are his most potent selling point, and his ability to describe the heartbreak of love going south or the prospect of summer lovin' just around a pretty dark corner places him amongst the best lyricists working in music today.

What's also striking about Shields' music is how fully-formed it comes, with the sense that there is little distance between the songs first being written and what results in the studio.

Truth and Recession is available at Look and Listen stores nationwide and available as a full album or track-by-track download at Amazon MP3, iTunes and miaindiemusic.com. For all availability inquiries contact: info@miaindiemusic.com