Now Stephen Steinbrink's previous album 'Arranged Waves' was one of my favourite albums of...um...what year was it again? A truly, undervalued classic. This is his follow up and early indications show the same jangling soft pop at play, perhaps with a few more '70s FM radio influences but that is never a bad thing. Lovely gentle music for fans of Jose Gonzalez, Elliott Smith, Real Estate etc.
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You’d need an abacus to work out the amount of time I’ve spent with Stephen Steinbrink’s previous record ‘Arranged Waves’. I’ve done 10K runs with it, I took it on holiday, it has helped me relax on sunny afternoons. I've slept with it. I’m therefore thrilled to hear a follow up album and doubly thrilled too announce that it lives up to the previous record.
Steinbrink is a skilled singer songwriter with a charming mid fi sound that is just about perfect for his slightly hazy lyrical outlook. Songs drift ever so lazily along with guitars taken from the Real Estate School of Jangle and a voice like a bedroom Paul Simon. As with ‘Arranged Waves’ these songs sneak up on you and after several listens you realise you enjoy the entire album. There’s a slight ‘70s vibe to Steinbrink’s songs which is most obvious in the AM radio chorus and Emitt Rhodes melodicisms of opener ‘Absent Mind’ but I’m most charmed by the chunky Elliott Smith like pop/rock of ‘Psychic Daydream’ and the swirling atmospheres of ‘Canopy’ which reminds me of mysterious college rock types such as Dumptruck as much it does Julian Lynch.
The songwriting is mostly superb, 'I’m Turning Inside Out’ has a lovely descending motif with added vibraphone for a that full on summery effect and ‘Dissociative Blues’ sounds something like Beck in ‘One Foot In the Grave’ stomping charm. This is just great throughout, everything is a winner. If you are charmed by non-threatening jangle pop then this is the Summer 2016 album for you.
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