Peaking his head out of the Indie Underground
Stephen Steinbrink, a 27-year-old, Greyhound traveling nomad, has recently released his 12th album, Anagrams. Steinbrink has been making music relentlessly ever since he was a young teenager in Phoenix, Arizona. His career began to take shape once he and his fellow musician, Emperor X, met every Greyhound bus driver on the Northern Hemisphere.
Steinbrink’s new album, Anagrams, may be his best work yet. For over two years, Steinbrink worked on this album in a de-sanctified church on the northern coast of Washington. As unproblematic and blissful as that may seem, Steinbrink describes the production of this album in full honesty and integrity.
“While making Anagrams, I felt like I was losing it. Lately writing songs almost makes the world seem more chaotic, like I keep digging up [and] reburying the same old bone. For this album, I tried to continue unpacking these forgotten images and memories, except this time without placing any subjective meaning on them, or any expectation of personal growth to occur after. Maybe it’s silly to expect the process of making art to be a clarifying act.”
As stagnant as his expression of the album may seem, Anagrams itself is an incredibly digestible accompaniment of delicate airy guitar riffs, and soft unequivocal vocals, almost comparable to Death Cab for Cutie.
Tracks like “Absent Mind” and “What Identity” are a nostalgic combination of Fleetwood Mac and the Beach Boys. “Shine A Light On Him” is a truly emotionally captivating track is comparable to early Beatles. Lyrics like “It’s easy to forget what you can’t remember,” seem questionable if Steinbeck is describing perhaps an experience with heavy drug abuse or overdose.
It is hard to admit that music in the ’60s and ’70s may or may not be the greatest influx of music in history. It seems as though artists are making valiant efforts to stretch their music into an unprecedented era. However, when looking at Steinbrink’s music, it is easily detectable that he finds his inspiration from past charm.