Right now, social distancing is becoming the norm. For a long time, we’ve gotten used to the guise of being able to do what we want, when we want. For an artist, social distancing could be a good thing with the exception of lost touring revenue. We’ve known Stephen Wells of the band Birthday Club for a minute, and we were inspired by his methods in overcoming a bout of writer’s block when finishing his latest full length, Obscure Emotion. We were so impressed with his methods, that we spoke to him for our podcast, Self Released Songs.
Four years ago, when Wells released his debut EP Lighten Up, we loved the nineties Brit pop tones that intertwined with the indie rock sounds. The six song release reminded us of bands like Manic Street Preachers with touches of Supergrass thrown in. While it reminded us of those bands, it was also its own thing. But where Lighten Up had minimal graces of psychedelia, it’s Obscure Emotion that really tackles the genre head on while layering sounds better than you’ll hear in most spaces.
As lush with sounds and soundscapes as the full length is, it could’ve also have not happened. Hampered with the notion of not having a way to finish the album, Wells’ own self-examination and self-care helped get him to a place where he was ready to clear his thoughts. After a trip to Marfa, Texas for the Marfa Myths Festival, Wells was in a spiritually sound enough head space to soldier on and complete the release.
His route to getting on the right page has helped him navigate the latest struggle many independent artists are up against. The cancellation of festivals, conferences and live performances of any kind for the foreseeable future. We invite you to stream the podcast to get introspection of your own, especially in these trying times.
While there are no scheduled live performances for Birthday Club, Obscure Emotion is available for physical purchase on heavyweight 180 gram translucent vinyl from Bandcamp. It can also be streamed on all streaming sites or purchased in all digital outlets. Self Released Songs is available to stream on our website, as well as on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you listen to podcasts. You can like, subscribe and support it at Anchor as well.
Image Credits: Photo by Karo Cantu.