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 growth as an artist, songwriter, and arranger since his 2017 debut album 'Sinner' is obvious on the standout track "All We Want Anymore." The song features a bright, 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. This metaphor allows him to explore the modern experience of hyper-connected isolation caused by "sharing your life on the screen" (Nose Dive), and the delicate nature of self knowledge ("I'm more selfish than I thought", Cheer Up).
'Performance' also features essential, thoughtful production and beautiful performances from Mark Edlin and Ben Lumsdaine (Kevin Krauter, Major Murphy, Steve Marino) and album art by William Schaff (Okkervil River, Songs: Ohia).
All songs written and performed by Stone Irr
Produced and Mixed by Ben Lumsdaine
Co-produced by Mark Edlin and Stone Irr
Engineered by Ben Lumsdaine and Mark Edlin
Additional engineering by Stone Irr
Mastered by Mike Bridavsky
Recorded at Primary Sound Studios
Mixed at Russian Recording
Mark Edlin: drums on Nosedive, All That We Want Anymore, Move, Calm, Storyline, Fine With Me, Incessant
Ben Lumsdaine: drums on I Don't, bass on Storyline, organ on Nosedive, Cheer Up, tac piano on Storyline, additional guitar on Incessant, Lift Your Shirt, aux percussion
Yoed Nir: strings on Cheer Up, All That We Want Anymore, Calm
Brennan Johns: brass and horns on Storyline, All That We Want Anymore
Molly Pope: organ on I Don’t
Horn and brass performance and arrangement by Brennan Johns
Horns and Brass recorded at Butter Music + Sound
String performance/cello & string arrangement by Yoed Nir.
Strings recorded at Yoed Nir's Studios.
Thanks to Mike Adams, Zac Canale, Steve Marino, Mark Edlin, Joey Wańczyk, Nick Faidley, Jack Andrews, my Butter family, Mom and Dad