|Released: June 19, 2015
Produced by: Andy Styer
|No Rain Remain
Paint a Face
Painter at Bay
Saul & David
Dam It No More
|Steve Wilkins – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Bass, Drums|
Built on an acoustic-based foundation, the songs on Steve Wilkins debut EP are filled with movement and mood taking on a genre classification of their own. Released this past June, No Rain Remain contains six songs of diverse themes that somehow seem to gel together as a cohesive whole with an underlying statement speaking of the struggle between balancing a responsible life and satisfying a wellspring of creative impulses.
To say that Wilkins took his time in putting together this record is an understatement. Drawing influence from a vast number of sources ranging from 70s prog rock to 80s pop, he began composing in the late 1990s and began this particular project nearly a decade ago in 2007. The songs were originally recorded as acoustic demos and later brought to Andy Styer at his “barn” studio in Manheim, PA. Here, Wilkins recorded each instrument and provided lead and backing vocals, making this a truly independent effort.
The EP commences with the title track, “No Rain Remain”, which features rapidly strummed acoustic along with a driving rhythm and some slight synth fonts during the chorus. Lyrically, the song is a summation of strife leading to moments of hope; “…I’m relatively clean, that is except for these feet / they’ve collected dust from roads unknown…” “Paint a Face” is a short and rapid song with a simple theme as it musically finds a space between Kinks-style garage band music of the 1960s and the more refined New Wave sounds a decade and a half later. Next comes “Always”, a love ballad delivered methodically and soulfully with some fine piano throughout as well as strategically placed multi-part harmonized vocals. Wilkins wrote the song when engaged to his present wife in anticipation of their coming marriage. “Painter at Bay” is an electric guitar driven rocker which has a Green Day-style nineties punk vibe, complete with a cool bass interlude and some intentionally distorted vocals during the outro. Speaking of this track, Wilkins stated; “I believe that if people have ideas, they should pursue them and see what happens, instead of hiding them.”
Steve cites the Biblical-influenced track “Saul & David” as his favorite on the EP. It features an interesting folk arrangement with an uncommon time signature, rhythmic rudiments at unexpected places, and a climatic bridge before slightly pausing and launching into final verse. the closer “Dam It No More” has gently picked acoustic and the finest vocals on the album, a radical departure from the electronic version that Wilkins originally composed. The theme of this song is about wanting to be creative in the face of being stifled by society, but ultimately going with your core instinct.
With the release of No Rain Remain, Wilkins is playing shows around his home base of Harrisburg, PA and hopes to expand to other areas and do more recordings in the near future.
Steve Wilkins online
- Very Heepy, Very Purple