Photograph: The Fader
I was in the M-Double-O-D, and she said park my car down the backstreet
The debut solo EP ‘Steve Lacy’s Demo’ by The Internet’s lead guitarist Steve Lacy is impressive. Despite only being 6 tracks long, listening to it feels like a transient, relaxing eternity. The 18year old artist recorded and produced the whole EP using his iphone’s garage band app, a fact that is even more impressive.
Each track seems to pour into the next, an interlocking quality that I think makes for a great listening experience because of the sense of continuity. Steve Lacy’s vocals are decent and from the first track to the last, he seems to be singing about, not surprisingly, a girl. What I found curious however is the way the EP begins, with him observing the shallowness of attraction, that “looks ain’t enough.” The plot quickly shifts however the way substance-induced minds do.
“You gotta understand that there’s more to this,
what if I got with you and turned out to be a total bitch.”
The EP plays with a cinematic air, each track producing introspective dialogue, the artist really laying his thoughts bare. Accompanying this is the consistent mellow guitar that plays in each track with snare, base and drums finding their way into the instrumental conversation too. Also striking, for me at least, is how mature the tracks are. Mature in the sense of tone and mastery of lyrical construction. Steve Lacy has really done his homework, there is no use of hype instrumentals to distract you from the singing, no cliche statements. Although of course, it would be fair to argue that love, sex and attraction are cliche musical themes, style settles the case.
The track ‘Dark Red’ plays with hints of influence from the Arctic Monkeys band and stands out on the EP because of the way Steve plays with the structure of the story he’s telling; he moves indecisively between his fear of being rejected to his re-assuring self. This fight with dilemma returns again on the 5th track ‘Haterlovin’ where the artist rages out of his self-loathing impulse, repeating “I hate you just as much as I love you!”
Steve Lacy ends his EP soothingly with the track ‘Some’, which transforms almost mid-sentence into the soft cords of guitar playing towards the end and the mystical sounding vocals “I just wanna take it..take it slow.” Steve Lacy seems to be teasing what should follow this EP, a debut album, hence the appropriately put title ‘Steve Lacy’s Demo’. The EP serves as a campaign speech from the artist, introducing him as a solo artist. 6 tracks worth of music simply isn’t enough however, and the album, should he decide to work on it will be the the deciding factor of his competence as a solo artist.