When Christina Halladay was in kindergarten at Cutchogue East Elementary School, she made a “future goals” book, writing that she wanted to sing when she grew up.
Now 32, Ms. Halladay’s dreams have come true: She is the lead singer for Sheer Mag, an American Rock band based out of Philadelphia.
After graduating from SUNY/Purchase, Ms. Halladay moved in with college friends Kyle Seely, Hart Seely, Matt Palmer and Ian Dykstra — all musicians who hadn’t found what they were looking for with previous bands. With this in mind, the group decided to try being their own band.
They soon became Sheer Mag. In July, they released an album called “Need to Feel Your Love.”
“It’s our first full record,” said Ms. Halladay, a 2004 Mattituck High School graduate. “We had three seven-inch [vinyl records] with four songs each. We put out a compilation of the three, but it wasn’t a whole cohesive album.”
The band — which hasn’t signed with a major record label and instead records all its music under its own label — has seen increased success since it formed in 2014. Sheer Mag was featured in Rolling Stone’s “10 New Artists You Need To Know: January 2015” article, appeared on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” performed at the Coachella music festival in 2016, landed on the August 2017 cover of Spin Magazine and was featured in a New York Times article “Rock’s Not Dead, It’s Ruled by Women” earlier this month.
Starting off small with only a booking manager to help them get shows, Sheer Mag, which is short for Sheer Magnitude, recently hired publicists, a tour manager to help sell merchandise and a third guitarist to “add a little more depth for the new record,” Ms. Halladay said.
A tour promoting the new album just kicked off and will culminate with an Oct. 21 performance at Villain in Brooklyn.
Ms. Halladay said about half of Sheer Mag’s songs are political, using their platform to be more vocal about rejecting certain behaviors and attitudes, such as intolerance, racism and sexism.
“It’s exciting to have that platform to speak about things that are important,” she said. “That’s like a really cool change and I’m glad that that’s happening.”
Having this voice is one of Ms. Halladay’s favorite aspects of Sheer Mag’s recent success — or, as she jokingly puts it, being “on the brink of being a little famous but we still don’t have any money.”
She said young women have begun coming up to her and telling her she’s an inspiration. One girl even mentioned that she started a band, something she didn’t think she could do until she saw Ms. Halladay fronting Sheer Mag.
“You don’t think you can do something when you don’t see someone like you doing it all the time,” Ms. Halladay said. “Plus-size women, well most women have trouble with standards of beauty, but some girl who doesn’t look like she can be in a magazine, people criticize that. So they don’t think they can be in a band, which is a crazy thing. So for people to be inspired by me is the coolest thing ever.”
Those interested can stream “Need to Feel Your Love” on Spotify or Apple Music.
Courtesy photo: Mattituck High School graduate Christina Halladay (left) with her band Sheer Mag.