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    • Watch Tegan and Sara Reference Bowie, Prince, and More in “Faint of Heart” Video
      Tegan and Sara released a new album, Love You to Death, back in June via Warner Bros. Now the Quin sisters have shared a video for "Faint of Heart." Devon Kirkpatrick directed the clip, which takes place at a lip sync battle and features members of the LGBTQ community impersonating various music icons, including David Bowie, Prince, Madonna, Grace […]
    • Frankie Cosmos
      There's a moment near the end of Next Thing—the second studio album by Frankie Cosmos—that perfectly encapsulates the disarmingly conversational spirit of Greta Kline's music. It comes halfway through "Outside With the Cuties," a playfully longing ballad with oohing backing vocals. 
    • Teenage Fanclub Share “I’m In Love” Video and Announce North American Tour Dates
      Beloved Scottish veterans Teenage Fanclub are releasing a new album, Here, the band's tenth full-length, on September 9 via Merge. Previously they had shared Here's first single and opening track, "I'm In Love." 
    • Watch: Beach House - “The Traveller” Video
      Baltimore duo Beach House (Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally) put out two albums in 2015. They released Thank Your Lucky Stars in October, despite just releasing their last album, Depression Cherry, at the end of August, both via Sub Pop. 
    • Summer 08
      It feels slightly wrong to praise Metronomy for a lack of pretentiousness—akin, almost, to Joe Satriani being minimalist or Liam Gallagher in tune. There probably isn't a single act that epitomises 2010s likeable-but-nothing-special Brit hipster music, but Metronomy are about as near as damn it. 
    • Can We Take A Joke?
      Can We Take a Joke?, the new documentary from director Ted Balaker, focuses on the perceived problem of society’s sensitivity.
    • Watch: Ryley Walker - “The Roundabout” Video
      Ryley Walker is releasing a new album, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, on August 19 via Dead Oceans. Previously he shared its first two singles, "The Halfwit in Me" and "The Roundabout." Now "The Roundabout" has a video.
    • The Radio Dept. Announce New Album
      Sweden's The Radio Dept. haven't released an album since 2010's well-received Clinging to a Scheme, but they have put out some standalone singles in the last six years. Now the band have announced a brand new album. It's entitled Running Out of Love and it's due out October 21 via Labrador.
    • Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living
      With Becoming Wise, Krista Tippett discusses big questions about life and living with the best and brightest from across different fields of study.
    • How to Dress Well Announces New Album and Tour, Shares Video for “Lost Youth / Lost You”
      How to Dress Well (aka Tom Krell) has announced a new album and some tour dates. He's also shared the video for the album's first single. Care is his fourth album and is due out September 23 via Weird World/Domino.
  • RSS Clash Music News

    • Premiere: Adam F x Kokiri ft Rae - 'Harmony' July 28, 2016
      Drum 'n' bass legend meets the new breed...Adam F is one of the foremost voices in drum 'n' bass, someone who has adapted their own unique style to passing innovations. One of the ways that he has achieved this is by seeking out new talent – talent such as rising producer Kokiri. Together, the pair have constructed 'Harmony', a […]
    • Track Of The Day 28/7 - Stevie Parker July 28, 2016
      'The Cure'There's something quite un-placeable about Stevie Parker. Maybe it's the way she carries herself, or perhaps a quality to her voice. Whatever it is, it keeps people coming back for more. Still remarkably young, Stevie's packed out performances at Field Day and Latitude created an astonishing online buzz. Debut single ' […]
    • Teenage Fanclub - 'I'm In Love' July 28, 2016
      Shot in Edwyn Collins' studioTeenage Fanclub have always maintained a close association with their native Scotland - try as they might, they just can't escape Caledonia's magnetic pull. New album 'Here' arrives on September 9th, and it's billed as a typically classy offering from some of the best songwriters around. Which, if we […]
    • Premiere: Hannah Peel - 'All That Matters' July 28, 2016
      Northern Irish artist takes another twist...Hannah Peel is a wandering spirit. First reaching wider acclaim with her 'Rebox' EP – re-interpreting synth pop greats in her own way – the singer then helped form The Magnetic North, a project rooted in Britan's folk lineage. Now the Northern Irish artist is set to take yet another twist. New album […]
    • Spotlight Special: Hüsker Dü - 'Zen Arcade' July 28, 2016
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    • My Life In Rewind: Eagulls July 28, 2016
      Clash braves the Brighton beach-front for a quick catch up...The release of a second album is always spoken about with a looming mist of scepticism and an awareness that darkened days could be ahead. ‘Ullages’ presented a monumental time for Eagulls, even before the release back in May of this year. Appearing at The Great Escape, going on a tour that would s […]
    • Norse Projects AW16 July 28, 2016
      The Scandi label unleashes its third womenswear offering.Since its arrival in 2004, Danish label Norse Projects has focused its attention on the menswear market, marking its territory within the strong Scandinavian line-up of brands marrying streetwear appropriate separates with a Cos like appreciation for subtlety. Earlier in 2016 there was that collaborati […]
    • Premiere: J Churcher - 'Riding On Your Love' (Acoustic) July 28, 2016
      A hushed, ghostly recording...It's fair to say that J Churcher has been working on his debut album for some time. The songwriter worked alone for two years, before the introduction of producer Dreamtrak seemed to allow the process to fall together. Debut album 'Borderland State' arrives on September 9th through 37 Adventures, and it's a v […]
    • Premiere: Lonely The Brave Tackle Pink Floyd July 28, 2016
      Check out their version of 'Comfortably Numb'...Lonely The Brave released their second album 'Things Will Matter' earlier this year, a deeply personal document that found the band in a rich vein of creative form. Production was taut, brisk, allowing the Cambridge group to fully capture their live energy while also adding the control of a […]
    • Swans - The Glowing Man July 28, 2016
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Best Albums of 2012: Delicate Steve ‘Positive Force’

Posted by falconi5 on July 11, 2012


New Jersey-based multi-instrumentalist Steve Marion, better known to music lovers as Delicate Steve, undoubtedly believes in the D.I.Y. aesthetic. Not only did he play everything on his second album, Positive Force, himself, he engineered and mixed the whole damn thing on his own. But Positive Force never feels like an airless, claustrophobic kind of project, as so many bedroom pop records by one-man bands can. Instead, it’s a light, breezy affair that seems to take its title quite literally. Steve is part of the New York-centered indie art-pop scene that includes acts like Dirty Projectors, Yeasayer, and Callers, and like them, he makes life-affirming music that’s about opening up to possibilities and embracing as many musical colors as one can comfortably keep together under one aesthetic roof. Call it “Yes Wave” as opposed to No Wave.


On Positive Force, Steve‘s muse leads him from the homey and pastoral to the spacey and celestial, but his incisive guitar work is at the core of everything. You might be tempted to label this predominantly instrumental album post-rock, but it contains none of the cerebral, lab-experiment feel sometimes associated with that tag. There’s an undeniable world music lilt to these tracks, which may be part of the reason Delicate Steve ended up on the internationally minded Luaka Bop label in the first place. If anything, it’s a pan-ethnic sensibility that plays out over the course of the record, as Hawaiian-tinged slide guitar lines tumble out over grooves that mix Caribbean and African influences with who knows what else. For what it’s worth, Steve himself actually claims that classic rock was a primary inspiration for the album. If that means the guitar lines that are the focus of each song — and sometimes they do admittedly have a George Harrison feel to them — are built to last, then it all makes perfect sense.

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