Stop Sleeping on Steroma
I’ve been listening to Nick Curran‘s music for what seems like forever and there’s something that really bugs me. It’s that he’s consistently been making really solid music for I’m sure over 10 years and for some reason Central PA seems to still be sleeping on him. I had just seen Stereoma perform in downtown Lancaster right after New Year’s to an unfortunately small audience of people. The performance completely blew me away. Stereoma’s new material is loud, pissed-off rock — and rightly so, as Lancaster basically has their own local early Arcade Fire-ish type rock band with these tremendous and great songs yet I don’t feel like anyone is giving them the credit or praise they deserve.
After the show, I asked Nick about the new album Movement and what transpired during the year it took to record it. He told me he was dealing with a lot of inner turmoil, fear of failure, anxieties about his wife and daughter. His struggle really comes across powerfully in Movement‘s craftsmanship – it’s hard to pinpoint a specific lyric or note, but it’s apparent in the overall feel of the songs. Despite the album’s themes of being scared, depressed, and wanting to be alone, there are also some hints of achievement and personal victory. Nick mentioned that at times during the recording process he had come to despise the album because it was such an intense personal reflection of the tough times he was going through that it was like a self-inflicted mockery.
Movement is the type of album where one almost stops listening to that bands’ new releases at that point because they can’t imagine them making anything that tops it. I’m sure it’s happened to us all before, you just like an album from front to back so much that it holds a special place in your heart and anything they release after that you’re not as eager to listen to it. It happened to me with Grizzly Bear’s “Veckatimest” (which they won’t top)… Anyway, I’m not saying don’t listen to Stereoma’s next release; I’m simply saying that this album is from start to finish terrific. It got me back into louder pop structured rock music and Nick’s lyrics are some of the most brutally honest out there. Not to mention he’s been playing with the same dudes (Brad Topping and Josh Wood) for years in various other past projects so they have a ton of chemistry already built up. A few of my personal favorite tracks on the album are “This City is Death”, “Smallest Spaces”, and “Just As Well”. Check out the new songs on Stereoma’s bandcamp and look for their live shows in New York, Philly, and Central Pa throughout the year.