Stephen Steinbrink
Utopia Teased



In December 2016 a fatal fire broke out in the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland, California. The warehouse was home to an artistic collective informally known as Sata Yugya, and on the night around fifty people were in the building to watch a host of house acts. Thirty six people died in the tragedy, including a friend of local DIY musician Stephen Steinbrink. In the months that followed, Steinbrink stayed locked away in his studio, taking LSD and writing and recording around the clock. The resulting album, ‘Utopia Teased’, works through his overwhelming feelings of loss with surprising lightness.

The album’s beating heart is the idea that most people are made up of other people, that we are all pieces of one another. The spaced-out ‘A Part of Me is A Part of You’ tackles the pain this causes in romantic relationships, while ‘I’m Never Changing Who You Are’, the record’s wounded closer, finds peace in resigning yourself to the state of things as Steinbrink sings ‘I only got the time I’ve got, and I’m not spending it in pain.’ Similarly, the bubbling, acoustic ‘Mom’ dreams of childhood contentment and safety, and is the most tender point on an album brimming with it. ‘Zappa Dreams’ is almost as sweet, Steinbrink’s version of Rosie Steffy’s original spinning into psychedelia in a way that is (probably) only partially down to all that LSD.

Born as it is from grief, ‘Utopia Teased’ still glimmers with life.

Support Loud And Quiet from £4 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 the costs of what we do (the printing and server fees, the podcast and video 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 is a recurring payment of £4 per month for UK subscribers. If you really start to hate it you can cancel at any time. The same goes for European subscriptions (£7 per month) and the rest of the world (£9 per month).

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.