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).