This Is Steve” is the latest contribution by the lively, playful, imaginative and inimitable guitarist Delicate Steve. Formerly signed to David Byrne’s label he’s established himself as not only an exciting instrumentalist in his own right, producing and playing everything on the new album, but also a go-to figure for work with artists like Dirty Projectors, tUnE-yArDs, Mac DeMarco, Lee Ranaldo and Built to Spill.

Plus he has also put records together with Death Grips’ Zach Hill, been handpicked to open a sold out North American tour for Tame Impala, and then provided guitar for Paul Simon’s new record. In total, we have a pretty solid musician on our hands with his collaborative work, but what is this new album like? Luckily I got my mits on it for a listen!

For me, this album was love at first listen. With a mesh of different styles of guitar playing giving an awesome air of vibrancy and life to the music, the lack of lyrics was no issue. If anything the lack of lyrical input strengthened this album greatly as it allowed the music to shine through and really displayed the talents that Delicate Steve has to offer.

With tracks like Cartoon Rock, Help and Winners showing off Delicate Steve and his well-known talent for the vivacious and finesse, that many other critics have remarked upon throughout his career so far, it is no wonder why this album was such a joy to listen to and making for a great chilled evening of listening with a few friends.

I also want to mention the final track on this record that is also its headlining namesake, This Is Steve. The reason I wanted to do this is because when I came to this track, the record was all of a sudden given a whole new air of gravitas. When listening to it, you almost get the sense that you are sat with him as he plays, submersing yourself in an intimate and emotional sound. Its slow sombre guitar alongside the piano was a soulful reminder that what you are dealing with here is not just some guy who can churn out some great tunes that have that funky edge, but a serious talent that when handed a guitar, can sing out the most heartfelt of songs. All without ever needing words to do so.

So, if you are looking for something that’s got a great soundscape to it, some killer guitar and will let you take an emotional journey that will excite and wow, then “This Is Steve” is one to watch for. I know that I will be.

Lauren Coombes

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