16th December | Exchange
For most of his career, Steve Mason has been a cult figure. His first band, the excellent but often forgotten Beta Band lived in obscurity for most of their existence despite receiving plenty of critical praise. Mason’s follow-up projects, King Biscuit Time and Black Affair, met similar fates.
Now releasing music under his own name, it feels like everyone is finally catching up with Steve Mason. His latest album, About The Light, produced by Stephen Street who previously worked with The Smiths and Blur, is the perfect balance between Mason’s musical eccentricities and a more accessible sound. Tracks like ‘America is Your Boyfriend’ and ‘Walking Away From Love’ are anthemic and feel timelessly British – just like those two other bands Street is famous for working with in the past.
Now, with a December tour on the horizon, Mason has released a new EP Coup d’etat, which seems designed to make sure these shows are total bops. The EP forgoes the guitars that defined About The Light in favour of synths and drum machines. Opener ‘Like A Ripple’ feels like it could’ve been plucked out of a classic New Order album. The songs on the EP seem designed for the dancefloor – a new and exciting avenue for Mason’s sound.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan from the Beta Band days or are completely new to the world of Steve Mason, we can’t think of a better refuge from Christmas music. Escape from the endlessly festive playlists at least for one night.
Listen to ‘Against The World’ here: