Listen to 405 Radio
Delicate Steve – Wondervisions

Delicate Steve – Wondervisions

by , 03 January 2012

I seem to have developed a taste for reviewing solo artists with monikers, and today follows the same suit. New Jersey's producer come songwriter Steve Marion, aka Delicate Steve, who has opened for the likes of Battles, Yeasayer and Cut Copy over the years, and is set to play this year's End of the Road Festival, brings us his debut album Wondervisions, which is released through Luaka Bop. With a comical bio written by Chuck Klosterman in which Delicate Steve is described as the 'wordless New Jersey U2' and 'sounding like My Bloody Valentine without the guitars', it's hard not to show this record an unfair amount of attention.

Tongue-in-cheek press releases aside, Marion has created a very different piece of work. Instrumental throughout, apart from just about audible vocals on 'The Ballad of Speck and Pebble', it's actually surprisingly accessible for a form of music that leaves many wondering which bits they can sing along to. I can't imagine the organisers of PDC Darts will be rushing to replace 'Chase The Sun' with anything from Wondervisions, but then that's not what the album is trying to achieve, which makes this sentence relatively pointless. From the Animal Collective sound of 'Sugar Splash', past the needless interludes, through to Laura Marling guitars of 'Attitude Gratitude', this is an album that is covering all the genres and filling the gaps in between. The highest point of the record comes in the form of 'Butterfly', which is an almost exact replica of the life of a butterfly. Starting at a medium pace, representing life as a caterpillar (or caterpie if you learned your biology from Pokémon), fading in the middle like a cocoon, before exploding into a finale that Gold Panda would be proud of.

Different, but not ground breaking. Accessible, but not enough to be an album you'd recommend to someone who didn't listen to instrumental music. Moments of brilliance are swiftly followed by areas of confusion, and what it lacks in flow it makes up for in variance. It's a solid beginning for Delicate Steve, but with only one clear single on the album, it's hard to see it exploding in popularity, although it should garner enough of a following to make him a name on your radar.

Rating: 7/10

Purchase and listen

Related Reviews

  • Wax Idols – No Future

    Wax Idols – No Future

    by Paul Kerr

    If you're a punk inspired band you have to be either very confident in your music or a little stupid to name an album after one of the best lines from the most incendiary single of all time, the one that almost single-handedly launched the punk movement. [read more]

  • Listener - Return To Struggleville

    Listener - Return To Struggleville

    by Matt Wright

    “What can you do with a BA in English?” they crow in the smash-hit musical, Avenue Q. But what those puppets don’t realise is that a BA in English equips you with two astronomically important things: the ability to lie in until two in the afternoon, and a natural advantage when reviewing albums where the singer doesn’t sing his lyrics but speaks them instead. [read more]

  • Boom Bip - Zig Zaj

    Boom Bip - Zig Zaj

    by Ben Yacobi

    Californian Producer Boom Bip – now living in the shadow of being the non-Gruff Rhys half of Mercury-nominated Neon Neon – has released his third solo album Zig Zaj with the obligatory collaborations that go with such things. [read more]

  • Swimming - Ecstatics International

    Swimming - Ecstatics International

    by Tom Jenkins

    A near faultless, cliché-free exploration of contemporary synth pop - how’s that for an opening statement (and poster quote)? [read more]

Comments

Follow Us

Recommended Posts

Popular Posts

Mailing List

Sign up to our weekly mailing list.