Artist of the week: Steve Mason
As the leader and main composer of The Beta Band, Steve Mason accomplished quiet a lot: he wrote the anthem of a generation (“Dry The Rain”), released a record (The Three EPs) that became an instant classic, and even if the remaining discography of the quartet failed to live up to the initial hype, their albums managed to inspire pretty much all their contemporaries, from Radiohead to Oasis.
After breaking the band in 2004, things turned pretty dark for him. Debts and depression forced him to take a second job in a building site. He started to slowly return to music and released two great (and underrated) LPs as King Biscuit Time and Black Affair, before releasing Boys Outside, his stark solo debut, in 2010. He gained some momentum with a savvy choice of singles and released a rather surprising and deeply political sophomore album in 2013: Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time was an expansive stunner, proving that his talent as both a composer and performer had not left him.
The new and recently released Meet the Humans is, by far, the most concise and focused album of his career, and arguably the one in which he managed to balance his gifted popsmith with his shape-shifting experimentalism. Fans of The Beta Band are going to love this one.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.