|Stephen Steinbrink — Anagrams (June 24, 2016)|
Stephen Steinbrink — Anagrams (June 24, 2016) ♦♦♦ Ferrari je vždy to rychlejší auto. A Steinbrinkova hudba je hluboce intimní záležitost, stejně jako Ferrari. Zároveň je příliš výstřední pro napodobování. Je jednoznačně typem člověka, který vždy žije ve své hlavě, ve svém ateliéru, nebo obojím. Také je hyper–sebevědomý a hyper–artikulující. To vše znamená, že jeho hudba někdy může obrátit cenné věci v klaustrofobii, libuje si v markantech té či oné paměti nebo té či oné starosti. Anagrams je sedmá LP SS. Oproti minulému albu “Arranged Waves” ještě vylepšil své umění, vrství ostřejší melodie přes stále sofistikovanější mechanismy. Tempa volí spíše volnější. Jeho hudba, tak často úzkoprsá, ale svým způsobem nádherná v pnutí, metodou pokus/omyl ještě více povyrostla a stala se moudřejší — s větší jistotou podivně spjata se skrytými detaily. Je připravena přijmout vnější svět okny vlastní ložnice. Anagrams is the 7th full–length LP written and sung by songwriter Stephen Steinbrink. Stephen Steinbrink has been bouncing around the West Coast indie underground for over a decade now. The singer/songwriter’s new album is his best, with winsome shades of Elliott Smith’s XO.
Born & raised: Phoenix, AZ
Location: Olympia, WA
Album release: June 24, 2016
Record Label: Melodic Records
01 Absent Mind 2:40
02 Building Machines 4:26
03 Psychic Daydream 3:21
04 Impossible Hand 3:12
05 What Identity 1:49
06 Canopy 4:11
07 I’m Turning Inside Out 2:40
08 Dissociative Blues 4:09
09 Anagrams 2:40
10 Black Hole We Don’t Say Anything 3:07
11 Shine a Light On Him 2:55
12 Next New Sun 5:46
• Written & produced by Stephen Steinbrink.
• Engineered by Nich Wilbur at UNKNOWN, 2014 - 2015
• Stephen Steinbrink — vocals, guitars, bass, drums, piano, synthesizer, vibraphone
• Andrew Dorsett — guitars, bass, drums, piano, synthesizer, percussion, vibraphone
• Danah Olivetree — strings
• Chase Kamp — drums
• Paul Benson — drums, bass
• Allyson Foster — vocals
• Avi Zahner–Isenberg — guitar
Notes from Stephen:
• Sometimes the ‘songwriter’ tag seems a bit naff, too lofty for musicians who keep the process simple. Anyone who avoids unnecessary earnestness is good in our book, and Stephen Steinbrink ticks every box with the sweet, no–frills gorgeousness of ‘Anagrams’.
• According to Steinbrink, for his new record he tried “to be nothing”, to avoid any tradition or lineage of songwriters. His output doesn’t identity as one thing or the other, apparently.
• “I always wonder if my most recent song is the last one I’ll ever write. I try to be more concerned with being open, to imagine myself as a rock or a wrapper or nothing at all. Whenever I can get close to that state of mind the songs come easy, but it seems arbitrary, almost like they would’ve existed with or without me,” he says in a statement about the new record.
• Open–ended, there to be interpreted from any angle, ‘Anagrams’ is an ambiguous dream. We’re premiering the title track, below.
By John S.W. MacDonald, July 5, 2016 / Score: 7.0
• Born and raised in Phoenix, Stephen Steinbrink has been bouncing around the West Coast indie underground for over a decade now, releasing numerous records of bittersweet, folk–inflected pop on a handful of tiny labels. While the 27–year–old songwriter is a dedicated nomad as a performer — he’s been touring off and on since his teens — Steinbrink’s music is a deeply intimate affair, a series of bedroom obsessions brought to life.
• Steinbrink’s last album, 2014’s excellent, wide–ranging Arranged Waves, garnered some attention outside his close–knit DIY circles. And Anagrams is sure to boost Steinbrink’s profile further. Recorded over two years in a de–sanctified church on the northern coast of Washington state, Anagrams is Steinbrink’s most fully realized vision yet — an album of compulsively well–crafted, yet warmly inviting guitar–pop that calls to mind the Beach Boys, early Beatles, and Fleetwood Mac without losing an iota of Steinbrink’s quirky charm. Arrangements that felt loose or tossed off on past records have been tightened here; vocal lines that once wandered now sparkle and shine. There is nary a note out of place.
• Anagrams is a close sonic cousin to Elliott Smith’s later work, particularly XO. Both Steinbrink’s record and XO use classic pop songwriting tools and organic, fine–grained production to uncover (or in some cases mask) some very dark stuff: depression, alienation, drug addiction, relationships in decline. On “Impossible Hand,” Steinbrink recounts a love grown cold over an urbane mix of shimmering acoustic guitar, twinkling piano and perky bass. On “Shine a Light on Him,” Steinbrink imagines himself coming to after blacking out in the middle of a car crash (or a night of heavy substance abuse; it’s not clear). “It’s easy to forget what you can’t remember,” he sings over soft fingerpicked guitar.
• But Anagrams is no secondhand Elliott Smith record; Steinbrink is far too idiosyncratic for imitation. In fact, Anagrams’ best songs break the singer–songwriter mold entirely. The eerily hypnotic “Building Machines” nods to Death Cab for Cutie and early post–rock, as its chiming guitars march head–on into a wall of vicious feedback. The breezy title track, meanwhile, is an irresistible slice of mid–’80s indie rock — all bitter heartbreak and R.E.M. jangle.
• Steinbrink is clearly the type of guy who’s always living in his head, in his studio, or both. He’s also hyper self–aware and hyper–articulate. All of which means that his music can sometimes turn precious and claustrophobic, reveling in the minutia of this or that memory or this or that worry. “Creosote,” from 2011’s Rennet EP, is about staying at home and doing laundry. 2013’s I Drew a Picture is essentially a concept album about Phoenix’s water–shortage crisis.
• With a few minor exceptions, Steinbrink avoids these traps on Anagrams by pulling away from himself and his hometown — writing abstract songs about his late–20s malaise with a more universal appeal — and by improving his craft, layering sharper melodies over increasingly sophisticated arrangements. Steinbrink’s music — so often insular, gorgeous in its way yet tentative — has grown up, becoming wiser and more confidently strange, ready to embrace the world outside his bedroom window.
North American Booking & General Inquiries:
Daan De Bruyne || TOUTPARTOUT
Record Label & Licensing:
In House Press
Alex Hall ||
Flow Zimmer ||
• 2016 Anagrams
• 2014 Arranged Waves
• LP/CD released by Melodic Records, 2014
• Japanese CD + bonus tack version by P–Vine Records, 2014
• Cassette released by Holy Page, 2013
• 2013 I Drew a Picture
• LP released by Holy Page, 2013
• CD, Self–released, 2013
• Cassette, Self–released 2012
• 2012 Rennet EP
• 7” released by Funkytonk Records, 2012
• Cassette, Self–released, 2011
• CD released by Gilgongo Records, 2011
• 2011 Condensed Nothing Tape, Holy Page Records (OUT OF PRINT)
• 2011 Desert Wasn’t Welcome LP, Off Tempo Records (OUT OF PRINT)
• 2011 Yellow Canary Jumpsuit Tape
• Cassette re–release, Lost Sound Tapes, 2011
• Cassette released by Le Horror Tapes, 2010
• 2011 Rennet EP CD, Gilgongo Records, Gilgongo Records (OUT OF PRINT)
• 2011 Lost Sound Tapes Lathe 7”, Lost Sound Tapes (OUT OF PRINT)
• 2010 Yellow Canary Jumpsuit Tape, Le Horror Tapes (OUT OF PRINT)
• 2010 Beggar EP 8”, Folktale Records (OUT OF PRINT)
• 2010 It’s Not Just Kissing LP, Gilgongo Records/Life’s Blood
• 2009 Next New Sun VHS Tape, Self-released (OUT OF PRINT)
• 2009 Live at Rhinoceropolis Tape, Self–released (OUT OF PRINT)
• 2009 Ugly Unknowns CD, Gilgongo Records
• 2008 Wedding CD, Self–released (OUT OF PRINT)
• 2007 French Quarter LP, Gilgongo Records (OUT OF PRINT)
|Stephen Steinbrink — Anagrams (June 24, 2016)|