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    • Art Ops Vol. 1
      Art is quite literally alive in this story. The Art Ops version of protecting the Mona Lisa from a potential art theft was to free her from the canvas and place her into something like witness protection, a life of bagging groceries. 
    • Watch: Tegan and Sara - “U-turn” Video
      Tegan and Sara are releasing a new album, Love You to Death, on June 3 via Warner Bros. The sisterly duo have previously shared the album's first two singles, "Boyfriend" and "U-turn." The former was already given the music video treatment and now "U-turn" gets a clip. 
    • The Family Fang
      Reprising his director/actor role of 2013’s Bad Words, Jason Bateman swings at an adaptation about the adult children of renowned performance artists.
      There's a sort of giddy anticipation of a collaborative project of artists whose work you like individually for different reasons and whose intersecting creative paths were a complete mystery. Eluding fanfare, singer Antony Hegarty, now taking the nameANOHNI and commonly known from her music made as Antony & The Johnsons, united with two of the more […]
    • Watch: Adult Jazz - “Earrings Off!” Video
      England's Adult Jazz are releasing a new mini album, Earrings Off!, on May 20 via Tri Angle. Now they have shared a video for its title track. It features some living Oscar statue-looking creatures, men covered in gold, singing the song as they rotate. Watch it below. (Also below is the album's first single, "Eggshell.")
    • Watch: Dinner - “Lie” Video
      Dinner (aka Danish producer Anders Rhedin) recently released his debut full-length, Psychic Lovers, via Captured Tracks. Now he has shared a video for "Lie." The simple black & white clip features Rhedin perform the song on guitar in a black studio while a sunglasses clad girl dances in front of him. Watch it below, followed by Dinner's up […]
    • Watch Iggy Pop Fight For His Young Wife in the Trailer for Indie Thriller “Blood Orange”
      Iggy Pop, who released his new album, Post Pop Depression, in March via Loma Vista, is starring in an upcoming indie film entitled Blood Orange. And now the thriller's trailer has been released.
    • Watch: Amason - “I Want to Know What Love Is” (Foreigner Cover) Video
      Sweden's Amason have covered Foreigner's '80s classic "I Want to Know What Love Is" on their recent EP, California Airport Love. Now the band has shared a video for their cover. Filip Nilsson directed the clip, which is about a man's international hunt for the Yeti. It stars Erick Lundqvist. Watch it below via Pitchfork, who pre […]
    • Listen: LUH (WU LYF’s Ellery James Roberts + Ebony Hoorn) - “$ORO”
      LUH, which stands for Lost Under Heaven, is the new band from ex-WU LYF frontman Ellery James Roberts and Ebony Hoorn. The duo are releasing their debut album, Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing, this Friday via Mute. Now they have shared another song from the record, "$ORO," which Roberts says has a "zeitgeist dystopian club aesthetic." […]
    • Radiohead Share Video for Brand New Single, “Burn the Witch”
      Radiohead have shared a brand new single, "Burn the Witch," via its video. The stop-motion animated clip was directed by Chris Hopewell and produced by Jackknife. It features some sort of inspector visiting a strange English village before the whole thing ends in a Wicker Man-like climax. The single is available digitally now and presumably the fir […]
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    • Premiere: THANKS - 'Dizzy' May 4, 2016
      Danish production duo arriving laced with colour...THANKS is a new Danish production duo, featuring Anders and Anders. Think they look a little familiar? Well, perhaps they do - both worked as members of Alphabeat, who notched up a few hits in their time. THANKS is something new, however, matching luscious pop against some crisp electronics. Debut single […]
    • Little Shalimar: Documenting Hip-Hop's Birth May 4, 2016
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    • Premiere: John Metcalfe - 'Wrapped' May 4, 2016
      Flurry of tour dates confirmed...John Metcalfe is best known as an instrumentalist, but when he heard Rosie Doonan's voice he knew he had to work with her. 'The Appearance Of Colour' was the result. A vivid, warmly engrossing listen, the sessions proved to be so fertile that a follow up EP is in the works. Out on May 6th, 'Wrapped' i […]
    • Premiere + Q&A: Ghost Culture - 'Multiply' May 4, 2016
      A direct, ecstatic return...It's been little over a year since the release of Ghost Culture's debut album, yet the producer is still surging ahead. Taking a break from his unrelenting live schedule the London-based artist hopped back into the studio, pouring his energies into fresh material. Completing a handful of tracks, Ghost Culture recently re […]
    • River Island Design Forum: YMC May 4, 2016
      The label marks its 20th anniversary with River Island collab.For its tenth season, the BFC backed initiative from River Island – River Island Design Forum – has something a little special up its sleeve, partnering with the iconic label You Must Create as it marks its 20th anniversary. Mixing up the rules adhered to previously by collaborators like Christoph […]
    • Bryan Adams Just Endorsed Zac Goldsmith May 4, 2016
      Erm... what?Bryan Adams appears to have just given Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith his endorsement in the race to be Mayor of London. The grizzled Canadian rocker used social media to express his support, claiming that the politician will make London the "greenest big city on Earth". No, don't cough on your post-lunchtime cup of coffee - […]
    • Premiere: Julia Govor x Kamran Sadeghi - 'Disappear' May 4, 2016
      From the new Cocoon 'Dots & Pearls' compilation...Put simply: Julia Govor is everywhere right now. The producer is storming 2016, and is fresh from a performance on Pete Tong’s show back to back with Lauren Lane. Julia Govor recently traded blows with Kamran Sadeghi, resulting in new cut 'Disappear'. Set to appear on the new Cocoon […]
    • Premiere: Bedlam Project - 'Predator' May 4, 2016
      Future-facing pop music...Bedlam Project is a London-based project that seems to view pop as a portal to the future. Currently working on his debut EP, the material that has hit the web so far has entranced and beguiled in equal measure. Clash is able to premiere new track 'Predator', and there's a real sense of bite to Bedlam Project's s […]
    • Wire - Nocturnal Koreans May 4, 2016
      A wonderful, highly individual record...'Nocturnal Koreans' is the latest instalment in what has been Wire's longest uninterrupted stint as a band, and finds the group revisiting the slickly-executed style and sound that characterised the very final years of their 1980s period; a period just before drummer Robert Gotobed moved on and before th […]
    • Foundations: Gavin James May 4, 2016
      Picking out the albums that made an impact...In conversation, Gavin James is shy, humble, and extremely self-effacing. When he's onstage, though, something happens to the Irish artist - he loses those inhibitions, and is able to sell a song - in the emotional sense - like few other artists around. Huge in his homeland, Gavin James now has his sights set […]
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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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