Big Time Receiver
Afria Talks to You
Sometimes “embracing a DIY ethic” simply means realizing that you’ve hoarded enough musical gear to record an album at home. That’s what happened to New Jersey songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Steve Marion. His 2012 sophomore outing sticks to his “ethos” while expanding his craft. “Ramona Reborn” opens sounding like an entire group rather than a one-man band. From the twangy slide guitar to the rhythmic acoustic strumming and pedaling rhythm section, there's an ebb and flow of interactive chemistry, with ample breathing room for a salient melody to pop out from the mix. “Wally Wilder” pushes the margins of post-rock with squealing analog tones rubbing against the grain of Afrocentric percussion, sounding like the mischievous little brother of Dirty Projectors. “Two Lovers” simmers down with bluesy electric guitar riffs and peripheral Moog chirps that percolate under cooing female vocals. The soft pitter-patter rhythms on “Positive Force” help give the song a lazy-summer feel when combined with sleepy slide guitar. “Luna” closes, sounding like an analog lullaby written for the children of Stereolab’s members.