First Listen: Stream New Stutter Steps Album in Its Entirety

Performer is pumped to premiere the new album by Stutter Steps. The project, courtesy of Pittsburgh’s Ben Harrison, can be streamed in its entirety below. Enjoy, and let us know what you think in the comments!

ABOUT STUTTER STEPS

Everything around us is chaos & panic & impending disaster, but Ben
Harrison is keeping it cool. The debut self-titled album from his band
Stutter Steps doesn’t spit in the face of death—it gives death a warm hug
and invites it inside for a game of Scrabble. Ten songs of sadness and
bliss, Stutter Steps is a glorious, vital addition to the indiepop canon.
When ‘Set Radio Clock’ surges into its chorus—fleeting & brisk and all too
brief, just like life—everything in the room starts to dance. During the
endless last chorus of ‘The Fade,’ it begins to weep.

Most Americans imagine Pittsburgh as some kind of rusted out steel
factory, but it’s actually one of the more beautiful cities in the
country, a stunning blend of rivers and hills dropped in the middle of the
Allegheny mountains. If Stutter Steps sounds like it emerged fully formed
from its natural surroundings, that’s because it did. Recorded over a few
days at a lodge in the Laurel Highlands, a retreat space about 1 ½ hours
east of the city, you can hear the mist and the mystical all over the
record.

Harrison works at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
where he spends his days curating and dreaming. Given access to the
complete collection of Warhol’s famous Screen Tests, approximately 500
silent film portraits he made of people who came to his studio, Harrison
began inviting his favorite musicians to provide a soundtrack. Two of
them, Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna—and who contributes slide guitar to
‘The Fog’) and Britta Phillips (Luna), became so enmeshed in the project
that they created 13 Most Beautiful, a multi-media project which they,
along with Harrison, have performed all over the world. Drowned In Sound
called it ‘one of the most exhilarating audio visual creations conjured up
in many a year.’

The experience inspired Harrison to start a band of his own. Enlisting
local musicians, including Jeff Baron of Essex Green and Ladybug
Transistor, The Stutter Steps were born. You can hear the Velvet
Underground’s third album. You can hear the New Zealand jangle of The Bats
and The Clean. You can hear the bittersweet wistfulness of Polaris, but
most of all you can hear what it’s like to be alive. Every moment of joy
on the record sounds haunted by the failures of the past, and every sad
song knows things can get better if you just give it some time.

Fall will soon be upon us, and everywhere are the signs of impending
death, but Stutter Steps is a beacon of warmth and light. It radiates
youthful energy and hard-earned wisdom. It’s bookended by two different
versions of the same song, just like Yo La Tengo used to do. It’s stunning
and wonderful and broken and bliss. Just like you. Just like me. Just like
all of us.

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