Reviews

Black Marble
Bigger Than Life

(Sacred Bones)

7/10

Chris Stewart’s morning commute sounds like a roller-coaster of societal sightseeing. Having migrated from New York with his long-term project Black Marble to his new LA studio hideout, his daily bus route winds through the high-rise bustle of the city’s business district and then down the dilapidated streets of Skid Row. It’s the relationship between these two contrasts that’s inspired his third album, Bigger Than Life, a record that wholeheartedly accepts the great disparity between people by recognising what ultimately connects them.

Whereas Stewart’s previous two releases (his 2012 debut, A Different Arrangement and 2016’s follow up, It’s Immaterial) scrutinised the darker corners of his own consciousness, Bigger Than Life reflects selflessly on the observations that surround him. This new outlook unveils a pensive, more discerning stance between Stewart’s lyrics. Each track sifts through motoric beats and vintage synthpop melancholy that leaves a lasting impression.

His retrospective ethos to making music mixes staccato analogue technology with untouchable simplicity, giving Bigger Than Life unmistakable character and identity throughout. His voice sounds distant but immediate and stands resolutely at the forefront of the production making the vocal hooks most memorable. It’s a maturing, more adventurous instalment and one that highlights Stewart’s unique song writing savvy.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.