With nearly 25 years of solo recordings & releases to his credit, hermetic Californian Steven R. Smith goes back to the start with A Sketchbook of Endings, the first solo release under his own name in 8 years. A Sketchbook of Endings continues Smith’s exploration of the intersection of moody post-punk and cinematic psychedelia, delivered in lysergic pop song-length spurts.
Brevity does nothing to sacrifice density or dynamics; Smith offers both in abundance across the album's 15 instrumentals. These songs are packed with all of the depth, intensity & nuance that have been trademarks of his music for so long. Despite appearing under his given name, A Sketchbook of Endings includes traces of recent work, under guises such as Ulaan Khol, Ulaan Markhor and Ulaan Passerine, as well echoes of his forebearers Mick Harvey and Rowland S. Howard. A Sketchbook of Endings is a highlight of Smith's first quarter century of activities, a beacon of his rich and varied anti-career.
released May 31, 2019
Recorded September 2017 - January 2018 at Worstward Studios
Instruments: electric guitar, analog synth, percussion, piano, organ, hurdy gurdy, spike fiddle
supported by 26 fans who also own “A Sketchbook of Endings”
Smith seems to be a master of every instrument out there and on New Evening he applies his skill to several strange ones, layering and manipulating them to great effect. The result is two primordial pieces that seem suspended in time, shifting, glowing, and shimmering like the sunset over the Pacific, or a sunrise burning away the morning fog over the Blue Ridge Mountains. This album is another flawless entry into Smith's vast catalog of haunting hymns to the world's secret and lost things. ratiofarm
supported by 25 fans who also own “A Sketchbook of Endings”
This is one of the best things that has ever happened in the history of music. A too-short trip down a raucous tunnel of sound and emotion and spirit that culminates in a bright shimmer.
If I have one criticism, it's that it ends too soon. Steven R. Smith is a fucking genius, and he leaves me wanting more. The Means to an End