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Stephen’s Shore – Neptune (EP) (Meritorio)

10 May 2024

The new Stephen’s Shore EP “Neptune” is out today on Meritorio Records. Abounding with jangle, the Stockholm five-piece has delivered a fantastic 4-track EP very much in the vein of recent music from Chime School, The Reds, Pinks and Purples, The BV’s, and The Shop Window.

For the uninitiated, Stephen’s Shore have released two prior EPs (”Green” in 2022 and ”Brisbane Radio” in 2020) and one album (”September Love” 2018) on Spanish indie label, Meretorio Records. Their debut single “Ocean Blue” was released in 2016 on New York’s indie label, Cloudberry Records.

The new EP was recorded live by the band one hot, summery day in September 2023 in Stockholm. Fredrik Swahn (Dungen, Melodys Echo Chamber) recorded and mastered this little beauty. The results are sun-drenched and shimmering, perfect for release as we head into summer in the northern hemisphere, and as a respite for autumnal weather approaching those well south of the equator.

“Garden” kicks off the EP, building around a proximity of the iconic twangy riff from The Byrd’s “Eight Miles High”. Chiming guitars, harmony vocals, and lithe bass and drums all create a dreamy vibe.

“Sunset” is quintessentially Stephen’s Shore; familiar and comforting, and galloping along at a good clip. Imagine early-period R.E.M. overlayed with Viktor Sjödin’s distinctive vocals and you get the picture. The song, like so many by this band, is efficient, peppered with all that’s needed and little more.

“Lost and Found” is a slowed down, stoned out jangle, with whispers of country music infused into the jangle. It’s a highlight on this EP.

“Under The Pine” begins with pounding surf and seagulls. The closing track’s mellow vibe is perfect for sunset and the drive back home after a full day out swimming or hiking. The somber guitars remind of Martin Phillipps’ when he’s at his quietest and most evocative with The Chills (check out “Underwater Wasteland” for example).

Viktor sings “Don’t give up on your dreams. Just let me know. I’m under the pine.”