Steven Dayvid McKellar: ETHIO, Pt. 1 and ETHIO, Pt. 2 (Self-Released) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, July 5th, 2020  

Steven Dayvid McKellar

ETHIO, Pt. 1 and ETHIO, Pt. 2

Sonic Ritual

May 25, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Having built a more than respectable body of work with Civil Twilight over the last few years, ETHIO finds the band’s frontman Steven Dayvid McKellar striking out on his own for the first time. Released as two EPs, the combined effect of the whole is startling. Falling somewhere between Four Tet and a slightly straighter iteration of Thom Yorke’s work with Atoms For Peace, this is a largely, and deliberately I would deduce, unsettling series of synths, blips, and beats upholding McKellar’s vulnerable vocals.

The songs that particularly affected me are “Modern Boy,” with its keening “wish you could have seen me/Everything so clearly” lament, and the skittering “Asleep At the Wheel”“God knows what in your bloodstream/Asleep at the wheel I don’t blame you,” which McKellar almost whispers in the song’s mid-section before the beat kicks in once again. As the melody builds, McKellar alters pronouns, stating in an almost accusatory way, “We are asleep at the wheel/And I don’t blame you.” Who’s speaking? Who knows, but are we willing to listen? That’s really the question here, but I think you owe it to yourself to check out these splendid EPs. (www.stevendayvidmckellar.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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