New Ears by Son StepRelease date: October 8, 2021
Do we need new ears to open up to some music we usually don’t run often into?
Well, maybe not new ears, but a good dose of openness and trust that we’ll actually hear something that suits us just fine. That is exactly the direction Philadelphia’s Son Step pushes its listeners towards with their latest EP ‘New Ears.’
Making them take such a step (couldn’t resist) is the drummer and avid sonic experimenter, Ben Sloan (WHY?, The National, Naytronix).
What we get is this soft-sounding mix of lo-fi bedroom pop with some equally soft-sounding electronic and production embellishments that seem to be stretching around like a great toffee without falling apart at any point. As if you’ve combined Chicago’s Sea & Cake jazzy inclinations with left-field pop master R. Stevie Moore and recorded it in his usual environments.
It is all intentionally subdued, but at the same time, intricate and sophisticated, revealing a new musical and lyrical texture with every play.
Add to that the fact that Jon Coyle and co. covers some not so lo-fi themes like a systemic failure, modern challenges, healing and growth, all in five tracks of this EP, which has just one problem. It just ends too soon.
No matter what Son Step have done before this, it is certainly a direction they should be pursuing. It would be quite rewarding for them, and even more so for the listeners that take this one on.