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  • Rob

NOW PLAYING: 'BROTHERS AND SISTERS' BY STEVE MASON...

I came across Steve Mason via BBC 6 Music a few years ago when I heard the track ‘Alive’ and did some Spotify exploring. A few run-throughs later I’d ordered his fantastic album ‘Meet The Humans’ and have been a fan ever since. When he announced a new album was on the horizon, I didn’t hesitate to preorder it.


I have seen reviews describe the record as the best and most challenging of his career. Initially, I would argue against the former and massively agree with the latter. The problem for me was that it sounded unfinished or made up from side projects to me initially.


Part of this patchwork feel comes from Mason borrowing from other music cultures. There are guest vocals from Pakistani singer Javed Bashir on ‘No More’, and on the electro-Bangra, erm, banger ‘Brixton Fish Fry’ as well as gospel choirs all over ‘Upon My Soul’.


These guests aren’t just randomly added to the album for texture, they are there to back up the inspiration for the record, namely as a response to Brexit and immigration as Mason explains:


“To me, this record is a massive “Fuck you” to Brexit and a giant “Fuck you” to anyone terrified of immigration, because there is nothing that immigration has brought to this country that isn’t to be applauded.”


Knowing this theme helped me make sense of this record. Suddenly those exotic sounds don’t jar, they fit perfectly and elevate it from standard indie pop fair into something with a bit more depth. Now I agree with the reviews, this is probably his best solo release.


Fancy some challenging, intelligent indie? You could do a lot worse than pick up a copy of this album. The record is available on gold vinyl via many indie retailers for around £25 or on traditional vinyl for £22.


Tracks To Try: ‘I’m On My Way’, ’No More’, ‘All Over Again’, ‘The People Say’, ‘’Pieces Of Me’, Travelling Hard’, ‘Upon My Soul’.

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