Songs for Oxygen
Kevin Stetz is a 21 year old songwriter. On Songs for Oxygen, the first full length Kevin Stetz album, he isn't holding his breath. As a departure from 2004's Singing Birds in Sickness EP and the Moon During the Day (released under the name Things that Fly), Songs for Oxygen is built on collaborations to create an album full of many different sounds, without ever leaving the intimate realm of the singer/songwriter. You can hear breathe being drawn between words and taps against the acoustic guitar, the Songs for Oxygen travels further into the listener's mind, revealing layer upon layer of sound. Kevin Stetz grew up in the Southern California desert where Gram Parsons found his inspiration and his demise. Stetz's work is informed by that time in Southern California when other young song writers shared the same concerns of love and war. Kevin took in the aide of another Joshua Tree songwriter, Ted Quinn, to produce Songs for Oxygen. A range of musicians dropped into Quinn's casual Nomad House studio to provide a backdrop to Kevin's vivid words. Banjo, mandolin, strumstick, and ukulele place 'Poisoned Wells & Burning Flags' out on the front porch, making it's warnings seem like good news. 'Everything's Gone Down' exists in a less hospitable universe, as the sound of a lonesome stranger playing a sad song to a darkened room. Clive Wright's guitar and Monet's plaintive voice create the perfect moody atmosphere for 'Oxygen (to tell the difference).' The choir on 'We Will Never be the Same', including Alternative-Americana queen Victoria Williams along with Wooden Nickel singers Tal Hurley, Sue Bradley and Quinn, lends comfort to the troubled mind of a young man, too wise for his years.