STEPHEN STEINBRINK is a 27 year old songwriter and recording engineer born and raised in the arid desert of Arizona and currently floating around the western USA, dividing his time between the green spaces around Olympia, Washington and the concrete flats of Oakland, California. After more than ten years of touring and secluded home recording, Stephen Steinbrink has cataloged several albums worth of gorgeous melody, quotidian dread and desert blight in his stark, minimal pop. Yet the songs on his latest record Anagrams (Melodic Records), beautiful yet unflinching portraits of addiction and mental illness are captured in his most meticulous and high-fidelity production to date. While one might expect the record to be a final destination, a tidy hi-res culmination of all this journeying, the album’s particularly varied styles and sincere lyrical uncertainty portray a search that still continues. Truly engaged with the unintelligible and absurd, Steinbrink is more cultural observer than 21st century busker with his intelligently cool left-of-centre approach to a sincere melody, using pop tropes to convey something deeper. At the same time, it’s his lyrics that mark Steinbrink out as a true punk minstrel trying to how to figure out how to be a person in the world.
+ Breathe Panel + 1 more tbc
PRINCE ALBERT / WEDS 5TH OCTOBER 2016 / 6.5£ from all good ticket retailers, and some bad ones