Nach einer persönlichen Katastrophe kaufte sich Stephen Steinbrink einen Synthesizer, zog sich in einen Container zurück, nahm täglich LSD, verweigerte zu schlafen und nahm "Utopia Teased" auf, ein Album das durchtränkt ist von Trauer, Verlust und Zynismus. So die Legende...
Recorded in between stints touring as a member of Dear Nora, and then as a touring member of Girlpool, Utopia Teased is Stephen Steinbrink's followup to his critically acclaimed 2016 album Anagrams. Unlike the pristine production of Anagrams, on Utopia Teased Steinbrink embraces the rough edges, as he shifts his focus from the craft of production to the art of processing and capturing his experiences with honesty. He explains, “I was driving the preamps a little too hard, mixing down to tape, bouncing back to the computer, and repeating the process over and over again. I wanted it to reflect how fried my brain felt at the time, totally pulverized. The songs just poured out of me, it hardly felt like work to make them up. It was like turing on a spigot. I don’t write often, maybe once or twice a year, but when I do, a lot comes out..”
In an interview with North of the Internet, Steinbrink recalled a video he came across on his phone, which was taken the day after the fire, “It sent me spiraling and thinking, it’s almost been a year. Nothing really felt actual those weeks, and I could only only react to the future at a remove because the horror of everything was inescapably tying me to the present. The idea of doing laundry or driving across the bridge to San Francisco to work was too abstract, so I just didn’t do it. I hardly did anything. Two days after the fire I woke up, walked to P.’s porch and sat there for hours alone and cried without a jacket on until the sun started going down. Geese were flying across power lines at dusk and I took a video of them on my phone. I imagined one of the birds was my friend.” In the same interview, he goes on to share some insight provided by a friend he reached out to when trying to finalize the album: “Finishing the thing puts a limit around something that comes from an infinite well; this
is uncomfortable.” True.