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Stephen Steinbrink - A Set of Hours
Published:
Oct 13, 2009
Total plays:
29,108
Saved:
35 times
Why do we like this?
While there aren't any defining moments of glory on this album, it has a continuous and mellow flow that suits autumn in more ways than one. Stephen Steinbrink, a Phoenix, AZ native, started playing guitar in the 2000s, and after a few mishaps, wound up becoming his own musician. Today he crisscrosses the United States, selling artwork, blogging, and drawing cartoons. Oh, and of course: he plays music. Next New Sun is one of three albums released by the prolific Steinbrink in 2009.

While I haven't had a chance to listen to much from the other two, I feel as if this album is all I really need right now. What I'm really missing from this album is the video accompaniment. According to Stephen's website (listed below),



My new album "Next New Sun" is coming out on Gilgongo Records later this year on vinyl, however, there will be a very limited run (100 copies) of the album on a blue VHS tape, with 10 music videos, along with a MP3 Download Coupon Code in time for a US tour this fall. This VHS tape is full of music videos filmed by myself, as well as a several live videos from past.



By itself (video excluded), Next New Sun works well as background music, but I honestly don't expect it to play more than five times before I turn my attention to something else. Reality aside, Stephen's dreamy folk approach toys with the listener's attention, never capturing it wholeheartedly, but perhaps coming close with the introduction of female vocals on the track "I really want to be your friend". Steinbrink may be prolific, but I think as if he has a way to go before he can break into something bigger. That said, his prolific nature and artistic flare leave no doubt in my mind that moderate success is within his reach.



Perhaps his biggest coup was seeing his debut album, French Quarter, reviewed by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and legendary music critic Byron Coley in an issue of hipster bible Arthur Magazine.



"It feels good," Steinbrink says with a laugh. "But I'm always trying to avoid getting complacent. I'm always trying to one-up myself."



Steinbrink's new record, Next New Sun, does exactly that, melding the sparse folk-pop of earlier releases with spacey dynamics, MIDI string sections, and expansive percussion. All the strengths of a fantastic singer-songwriter record are present "” the emotive, cryptic lyrics, the gorgeous melodies "” without any of the self-indulgence that often strikes solo projects of the sort - Phoenix Music

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