GTC EXCLUSIVE: former Civil Twilight STEVEN DAYVID McKELLAR w/ 5+ influential releases
Steven Dayvid McKellar – ETHIO, Pt 1 is available at Apple Music.
by Walter Price
At the multiverse crossroads of what contemporaries Mark Oliver Everett, Wayne Coyne, and Jeff Mangum have been creating, multifaceted artist Steven Dayvid McKellar is forging sounds all his own. The former Civil Twilight frontman’s recent 4-track EP, ETHIO, Pt 1, is an exercise in transformative and questioning thought processes. A layered set planting itself deeply into the zeitgeist and social conscience. And to give us all a bit of insight on how the renowned songwriter, and painter, got to this point, McKellar shared a handful of releases that made an influential difference over time.
Massive Attack – Ritual Spirit / The Spoils
Both these EP’s came out around the same time I think, and I listened to them as one thing so, I’m meshing them together here. Man, brilliant stuff here. While I was staying in Paris with my wife, living in an apartment the size of a closet, I listened to these recordings a LOT. Such mood. There’s a hidden, restrained, ice-cold anger and attitude going on. Those guys have got something I desire to pursue and these songs were a big inspiration for my new record, for sure.
Jaco Pastorius – Jaco Pastorius
The greatest electric bass player of all time, and my teen idol. His first album was just, so in the zone. So funky. Such collaboration and energy. This is him roaring out the gate with confidence, sensitivity, and suave. I ate it up, and still do to this day.
Talk Talk – Spirit of Eden
One of the most gorgeous records ever made. In that same Paris apartment, I would sit by the window and listen to this album and tears would flow and I’d feel the depths again. The restraint and tangible sensitivity in these songs man, wow. It’s an album you have to listen to by yourself with headphones in a quiet room. It got me fueled up for making music again, but I would NEVER attempt to make something even a smidgen as beautiful as that fricking lightning in a bottle. Once in a lifetime stuff.
Art Feynman – Blast Off Through the Wicker
Luke Temple is one of my creative heroes. Here We Go Magic’s A Different Ship is what got me in the door, back in 2012. It’s one of my favorite records of all time. And ever since, I’ve eaten up all their albums, past, and future. And everything Mr. Temple puts out, I’m there. I’m in. Cause he’s got something. Something I feel I have yet to learn. Blast Off Through the Wicker is hypnotizing, crunchy, with a thick, cohesive, uncompromised mood all over it. It’s a guy doing whatever the f$#k he wants, by himself, with a four-track and a drum machine and some janky instruments. And I love it. Thank you, Luke.
LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
Like most things in my life, I was late to the game with this album. Somehow I’d missed the billboard and street talk and didn’t even know it existed. But while I was staying in Barcelona in 2018, it came across my path and it was exactly what I needed to hear. Uncompromised mood and fun and vulnerability and the take-your-time thing they do so well. Yet another artist/group on this list who has/have a unique thing and know-how to give everything else the middle finger.
STEVEN DAYVID McKELLAR
ETHIO, Pt 1 + The Belleville Demos
Artist photo via Facebook
ETHIO, Pt 1
Mixed by Micah Tawlks at Peptalk Studio
Mastered by Philip Shaw Bova
Mastered for vinyl by Dave Gardner at Infrasonic Mastering
Album artwork by Steven Dayvid McKellar
Executive Production, A&R, and Design by Toddrick Spalding
“His new stuff raises many questions about environmental disasters and social responsibility and in the light of recent events + the virus…it’s painfully relevant…”