On Saturday, September 5, stepmom shared their debut album with the world. Self-titled, the twelve-track production includes the three previously released singles, “Paper & Wax,” “Party People,” and “Vampires.” To ring in their new music, the band performed at a socially distanced concert at Scissortail Park on Friday, September 4.
Uncovering Oklahoma took some pictures from the show.
Starting with “Scary Stuff” and ending with “Feels So Good,” the album is darkly psychedelic — bright noises mixing with moments of self-deprecation and obsession. Covering topics of anxiety, invisibility, and balancing on the edge of conformity, the purpose of the album seems to discuss the trials of maneuvering through life.
“Scary Stuff” is titled for the lyric “loving me is scary stuff,” and it is most memorable for the breaks in the upbeat rhythm, when the secure and happy facade flickers to reveal an unfocused and chaotic insecurity.
“Take Care” follows with a melancholic ode to wishing another well while feeling lost and alone. Dreamy until the very end, when anger and determination replace the brokenness to repeat “not again” with raised voices and accusatory tones, the song mainly gives a vibe of floating down a river towards the gaining rapids.
The album has four interludes that lead into the more intense songs. The first, “Social Anxiety,” provides a build up for the accusative second released single, “Party People.” “On a Stormy Night,” slips into “Keep It to Myself,” a song mainly known for its inner turbulence, raging just under the surface, until it all spills out in the last twenty seconds . Connecting these two together are the actual lyrics, “on a stormy night” in “Keep It to Myself.”
“Are You Afraid?” leads into “Vampires (Get Lonely Too),” and the dream of it actually seems to come out. Where before, the songs seemed to operate just under the surface, “Are You Afraid?” sounds like something straight from a science fiction story. It gives off an image of someone lying in a hospital bed with machines hooked to their head with a crazy dream playing out on the screen next to them. In this case, “Vampires…” is that crazy dream. Every part of it is bright and colorful, and the lyrics are both fun and chaotic, further associating it with a dream.
“See What’s Inside” is an introspective discussion of life and time and feelings. Serious, soft, and deeply honest, the song provides something of an explanation for the rest of the tracks. The song itself encourages emotions and enjoying time as it passes.
Finally, the album ends with “Feels So Good.” Mostly positive and energetic, the song lifts the mood from the serious tone of the former song.
Overall, the album is an intense look into the brains of the members of the band, stepmom. The music is fierce, dreamy, and emotional, taking us through a tour of their minds.
Be sure to listen to the album below, and check out stepmom on all social media.
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