"Irr channels the Beach Boys and Sufjan Stevens in equal measure, using ethereal, layered harmonies and a sweeping arrangement to tell the story of the dark places the mind can go when experiencing separation from a loved one."
Stone Irr’s new, second album 'Performance' is equal parts heart-on-the-sleeve midwestern indie and warm, west coast pop, reflecting the artist's Indiana upbringing and recent move to Los Angeles.
Stone's tremendous growth as a solo artist, songwriter, and arranger is obvious on the standout track "All We Want Anymore." The song's bright, almost Beatles-like melodic structure and a cascading finale of strings and horns that pushes Stone's voice deep into the mix.
That voice, often multi-tracked with layers of harmonies, is Stone Irr's defining quality. It floats through the record, at times whispered and ethereal and at others gritty and broken, reminiscent of Thom Yorke, Jessica Pratt, Jens Lekman, and Sufjan Stevens.
Lyrically, Stone meditates on "performance" as the relationship between observer and observed. Often the same person plays both roles ("I'm more selfish than I thought", Cheer Up), but Stone also devotes attention to the modern sense of hyper-connected isolation caused by "sharing your life on the screen." (Nose Dive)
'Performance' also features essential, thoughtful production from Mark Edlin and Ben Lumsdaine (Kevin Krauter, Major Murphy, Steve Marino) and album art by William Schaff (Okkervil River, Songs: Ohia).
"Best taken as one whole, enveloping chronicle, Sinner balances smart songwriting with a wholly compelling heart; the kind of record that quietly, over time, might well become something truly special."
"Although the peaks of harmonic beauty certainly astonish, they would be far less effective without Irr’s deeply felt delivery, like the "For My Friends," line "I can’t even believe the shit I tell myself." In the end, Sinner’s success seems to be equal parts heartfelt reflection and chilling orchestration."
"It’s hard to choose what stands out on the album. For me it’s the tapestry of multi-tracked vocals that tie the entire record together with a choral-folk effect. For others the stand-out will probably be the lyrics. Lines like “Each hour is a grueling testament to what point I can’t stand,” both gives the listener something to relate to as well as enough mystery that he or she must personalize it through the process of interpreting it."