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STEVE MASON

Steve Mason

Brothers & Sisters

    His most open, honest and vibrant solo record to date, Brothers & Sisters marries the personal and the political but does so in an emotive and uplifting manner. Written against a backdrop of fear and uncertainty, and at a time when those in charge lurched from one disaster to the next mismanagement with increasing regularity, Brothers & Sisters is in fact an incredibly joyous, even spiritual, listen.

    With musical contributions from feted Pakistani singer Javed Bashir, British gospel singers Jayando Cole, Keshia Smith, Connie McCall & Adrian Blake and Kaviraj Singh on the santoor it’s a record about bringing people together through art, music and culture.

    “To me, this record is a massive ‘Fuck you’ to Brexit,” explains Mason. “And a giant ‘Fuck you’ to anyone that is terrified of immigration because there is nothing that immigration has brought to this country that isn’t to be applauded. Can you imagine what this place would be like without that [immigration]? I mean what would it be like? Cornish pasties and morris dancing?.”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Andy says: A record which Steve himself calls "a massive Fuck You to Brexit" is actually an incredibly uplifting pop record with some of the best tunes and grooves of his whole career. Inspirational!

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Mars Man
    2. I’m On My Way
    3. No More
    4. All Over Again
    5. The People Say
    6. Let It Go
    7. Pieces Of Me
    8. Travelling Hard
    9. Brixton Fish Fry
    10. Upon My Soul
    11. Brothers & Sisters

    Having written most of his previous albums alone, About The Light marks a change in approach for Steve.

    “I decided with this album that I wanted to get my live band involved at every stage because I wanted to capture the energy that we produce when we play live shows, so this time the band and myself worked on a collection of songs over the course of last year,” he explains.

    Picking Stephen Street to produce the album, and with a very clear plan in mind, from the off the goal was to capture the songs live and draw out their soulful elements.

    Talking about the process, Stephen Street says, “Steve explained that he wanted to make this album with his band playing more ‘live’ than on some of his previous offerings and also to augment the songs with brass and female backing vocalists. I felt this approach of first stripping back the songs to a more ‘live’ feel to create more space for the more ‘soulful’ elements to breathe in was an interesting one and we got down to work!”

    Recorded at studios in London and Brighton, About The Light, sees a subtle yet noticeable evolution in Steve’s sound.

    “When I listen to this album it feels and sounds like the first ‘legitimate’ record that I have ever made. It’s hard to explain but it sounds like a ‘real’ album. I think that is partly the production, the playing and the work that I did with the band for all those months in our rehearsal room on the South Coast,” says Steve.

    “It’s a beautiful, confident, positive, angry, loving and gentle album which once again moves what I do forward,” he adds. “David Bowie said that you should always be slightly out of your comfort zone if you want to achieve greatness, and for the first time perhaps ever, I deliberately pushed myself into that place. Who doesn’t want greatness?”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Laura says: Wearing his heart on his sleeve both emotionally and politically, the former Beta Band front man brings us his best and most direct album to date. As ever he dabbles with different genres, be it folky ballads, melodica tinged dub, Stones-ey southern Soul or big hook filled pop songs, but this time around, more than ever, he’s managed to meld everything into a cohesive, uplifting whole.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. America Is Your Boyfriend
    2. Rocket
    3. No Clue
    4. About The Light
    5. Fox On The Rooftop
    6. Stars Around My Heart
    7. Spanish Brigade
    8. Don’t Know Where
    9. Walking Away From Love
    10. The End

    Written at home by Mason, the tracks were then rehearsed in Brighton with touring band mates Steve Duffield and Greg Nielson, before being recorded with Elbow keyboardist and producer Craig Potter at Blueprint Studios in Salford. Recorded in the studios ‘big room’, an ex-factory space with floor to ceiling windows, the album took shape during a smooth and enjoyable six weeks in the early summer of 2015.

    Following from his ‘double political concept album’ ‘Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time’ this album is a move towards a more simple ethic; ‘an album where each song is a separate entity, where there is no great narrative running through it.’

    ‘Meet The Humans’ is shot through with a sense of renewal following Steve’s recent move to Brighton, swinging musically across dance, pop, folk, dub, and deep house influences. It’s a record which repeatedly returns to core themes, the possibility of others to redeem the self, the opportunity of change for the better in the individual, the joy of life and the world we inhabit, it’s arguably the most complete and direct of Steve’s long discography - eleven personal stories combined into one positive and proper whole, the sweep of the human condition written large and full of love and hope and joy.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Andy says: The funky ex Beta Band maestro returns with a buoyant encapsulation of all that is good in his groovesome world. The lush production and airy vibes make this pretty close to a pop record, but as ever, there's always the melancholy in the melody for Mr. Mason. However, certain tracks on here take us right back to those glorious baggy days of 1989, which I always thought was Steve's musical template. Combining these with the more introspective moments make this possibly the best album of his career so far. Inspirational.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Water Bored
    2. Alive
    3. Alright
    4. Another Day
    5. Ran Away
    6. To A Door
    7. Hardly Go Through
    8. Through My Window
    9. Planet Sizes
    10. Like Water
    11. Words In My Head

    After the critically lauded ‘Boys Outside’, ex-Beta Band mainman Steve Mason delivers his magnum opus ‘Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time’.

    ‘Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time’ is an album saturated with politics. With a title referring to the Buddhist term for an easily distracted brain, the album features 20 songs - 9 recorded in London with producer Dan Carey and 11 short linking pieces self-produced in Mason’s Fife studio.

    All songs on the album were written by Mason, while Dan Carey appears on bass throughout the record, and acclaimed London MC Mystro provides vocals on ‘More Money, More Fire’.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. The Old Problem
    2. Lie Awake
    3. Flyover ‘98
    4. A Lot Of Love
    5. The Last Of Heroes
    6. Lonely
    7. Safe Population
    8. Friends For Ever More
    9. Seen It All Before
    10. From Hate We Hope
    11. Oh My Lord
    12. Goodbye Youth
    13. Never Be Alone
    14. Behind The Curtains
    14. More Money, More Fire
    16. Fire!
    17. Operation Mason
    18. Fight Them Back
    19. Towers Of Power
    20. Come To Me

    BONUS CD DISC:
    1. Seen It All Before (Greg Wilson Remix)
    2. Come To Me (Greg Wilson Remix)


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