Delicate Steve | This Is Steve
Words? Who needs words?
Certainly not Steve Marion. As Delicate Steve, the multi-instrumentalist specialises in telling vivid short stories of joy, love, and positivity, without uttering a single syllable. Undeniably hummable guitar melodies are all he really needs.
But ‘This Is Steve’ is no show-offy display of technically brilliant yet soulless six-string noodling – these are impeccably crafted, well-rounded compositions where each instrument (played, of course, by Marion) is an essential, rather than merely supportive, element contributing to each track’s unique individuality.
On the bright ‘Animals’, there are the brassy synths and energetic drumming that swirl around the alternately piercing and spacey guitar. The irrepressible ‘Winners’ manages to sound like George Harrison on an acid trip reinterpreting a ‘70s Paul Simon folk song – but somehow even better. ‘Cartoon Rock’ easily lives up to its name: think ‘Sharp Dressed Man’-era ZZ Top – but somehow even more bombastic.
And, at the other extreme, the piano-led title track is an intimate, introspective ballad that peels back the layers to show Steve at his purest – yet another side to a performer who, in the space of 28 minutes and without a word, cultivates a sound as unique as Jeff Beck or Mike Oldfield.