Listen to ‘Pickleweed‘, the beautiful new single from Simon Linsteadt, from his forthcoming album “February” (out Jan. 23rd 2018). As lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for indie Americana band Steep Ravine, twenty-four-year-old Simon Linsteadt has quickly established himself as a prolific and engaging songwriter fluent in a wide variety of genres, from folk, to rock, to jazz, to bluegrass. If this doesn’t put you at ease, I don’t know what will.
Simon shared the following on Pickleweed:
“I wrote “Pickleweed” one evening out on a finger of Drakes Estero in Point Reyes, California. The area puts my mind at ease, and I go there often for inspiration. Pickleweed is a succulent that grows in marshes and tastes like pickles. Elements of the song came to mind while walking through a large swath of it. The word is satisfying to sing, and it seemed to be a good start to the lyrics which weave through some memories and how they landed on me in that moment. I recorded “Pickleweed” the same evening while the feeling was fresh and palpable.”
Linsteadt’s third solo album February is contemplative, gentle, and at times light-hearted, weaving threads of folk atop a mellow indie rock/pop atmosphere.
Recorded at his home studio Stormy Deep Studios, Linsteadt played all instruments on the album including guitar, bass, piano, organ, percussion (with the exception of drums played by Alex Bice of Steep Ravine on two songs) and more. Of note is Linsteadt’s use of thrifted and otherwise less than perfect instruments. Capitalizing on the musical character inherent in each, they provide background texture and tonality to Linsteadt’s compositions. An old Kingston bass from a pawnshop was stuffed with a sponge at the base of the bridge to get a punchy, dry sound. A heavy Baldwin organ, with more than a few mechanical failings, makes its way into the background of several songs providing a nice soft tone. A free Craigslist antique miniature upright tack piano was spared from an inevitable fate with a dumpster, and given renewed life on the tune “When The Cows Get Out of The Road.” After the songs were recorded, Linsteadt took the tapes to San Francisco’s renowned analog Tiny Telephone Studios, where they were mixed by engineer Jacob Winik.
Whether it’s the urgent lyrical repetition and fervent harmonica on “Something That I Need,” the haunting nylon string melody subtly punctuated by a marching snare drum on the title track “February”, or the gentle cascading piano melody on “Crazy Ride,” Linsteadt’s songs are driven by melody with a strong emphasis on lyricism, rich and unanticipated harmonic motion, and arrangements that are at once colorful and restrained, intimate and expansive. Artful fingerpicking amplifies the tender caress of Linsteadt’s vocals on “Pickleweed” and “Vulture,” and the brightly flat-picked instrumental “New Morning” is uplifting like the first light of a brand new day.
In a span of just a few years, Linsteadt, both solo and with his band Steep Ravine, has produced six well-received albums, an impressive body of work for any artist. Rich with ideas and musicality, Linsteadt’s newest release February shows he has the wherewithal to follow his creative muse for the long haul, with many more miles yet to explore.
Find out more here: https://www.simonlinsteadt.com/