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Stephen Steinbrink - Anagrams

25 July 2016

Oakland’s Stephen Steinbrink caught some attention in 2014 with his highly impressive LP Arranged Waves. Delightedly, he’s back again with another pop stunner that’s upped the ante even further entitled Anagrams.

Album opener “Absent Mind” has a heavy-hearted melody and a totally undeniable hook. “Building Machines” is a hard-hitting, off-kilter jangle rock burner that sticks straight in your skull. “Canopy” also totally wins with revolving melodies, mild psych, and impressive lyricism.

“I’m Turning Inside Out” is Steinbrink at his most secure. Themes touched on throughout the album are synced up just long enough to create a song that’s a perfect fit for Steinbrink. “Dissociative Blues” follows as a glorious + simple repetition that directly speaks to our battle with disconnection.

Throughout Anagrams, Steinbrink seems to see what others are not seeing. Lyrics like “Anger comes to some/Like the heart beats easily,” paint Steinbrink as a keen observer. Beyond the words, Anagrams touts pure pop (“Anagrams” and “Impossible Hand”) as well as the heavy burn of songs like “Psychic Daydream” and “Next New Sun.” In 2016, there are few records as lyrically and musically rich as Anagrams.

Norman Records-