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 growth as an artist, songwriter, and arranger since his 2017 debut album Sinner is obvious on the standout track "All We Want Anymore." The song features a bright, 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. 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).