Stone Irr's new, second album 'Performance' is is equal parts heart-on-the-sleeve Midwestern indie and warm, West Coast pop, reflecting his Indiana upbringing and recent move to Los Angeles. It's gorgeous.
Today Stone Irr announces his sophomore album Performance with lead single and standout track "All We Want Anymore." The song combines a melancholy melody and a lush, Beatles-esque production style with intricate lyrics about Stone's love for writing songs. He explains, "This is the song I've always wanted to produce -- something full and 'widescreen' in sound ... a sort of a love letter to songwriting."
Stone's new, second album Performance is equal parts heart-on-the-sleeve Midwestern indie and warm, West Coast pop, reflecting his Indiana upbringing and recent move to Los Angeles. His growth as an artist, songwriter, and arranger since his 2017 debut album Sinner is obvious on "All We Want Anymore." Its cascading finale of strings and horns pushes Stone's voice deep into the mix, revealing a new melodic intricacy and aspiration.
Yet 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. This metaphor allows him to explore the modern experience of hyper-connected isolation caused by "sharing your life on the screen" (Nose Dive), and the delicate nature of self-knowledge ("I'm more selfish than I thought", Cheer Up).
Performance also features essential, thoughtful production and beautiful performances from Mark Edlin and Ben Lumsdaine (Kevin Krauter, Major Murphy, Steve Marino) and album art by William Schaff (Okkervil River, Songs: Ohia).
You can preorder the album here.
"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."
"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."
"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."