First Listen: Delicate Steve "Positive Force"

This week, Delicate Steve released “Positive Force” on Luaka Bop, his sophomore record and follow to last years “Wondervisions”. Delicate Steve has a knack for picking accurate album names, his last record surprising us with wonderous new sounds and this one – after the moment of suprise about his unique arragements is gone now – still always able to bring a smile upon the listeners face. It is a cute, carefully crafted and mostly instrumental album with only 37 minutes of playtime, and it manages to take you away from your worries for a moment, if you let it.

I won’t tell you anything about Steve’s bio, as he and his label don’t seem to care about it either. They went as far as letting Chuck Klostermann make up a ridiculously fake biography for the press notes of last years record. Read it over at NPR, it is rather funny. Actually, I am not even sure if Delicate Steve is only one guy or a whole bunch of them. What I can tell you is that he often sounds like Ratatat with guitars instead of drums. And that he knows how to sing with his guitar instead of his voice. It is easy and fun to sing along to his songs – just make up some words, like I do all the time.

Positive Force isn’t an electronic album as such, but the sitar-like guitar picking is so precise and clear that you could think those are synths. It starts off with something like a reprise from “Butterfly”, the outstanding track on Wondervision, and goes on not producing too many new sounds compared to that last album. The third track “Two Lovers” is something new though, in as far as it is more toned down and there is a vocal part. NPR is streaming the whole album at the moment. Let it cheer you up with its feel-good seventies vibe and unpretentious attitude.

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