This EP is Chicagoan William Steffey’s 10th release and I’m surprised, quite frankly, that I haven’t heard of him before now. The music that he makes is unlike anything I’ve heard in years. He’s a bit of a throwback, yet still manages to sound incredibly fresh and vibrant.
Steffey is clearly influenced by the pop music of the late ’80s and early ’90s, but not just any old pop — clever pop, expertly played pop, emotionally honest pop. “Kid Ghosts” immediately made me think of Danny Wilson’s super hit, “Mary’s Prayer.” Not that Steffey is merely mimicking, no, not at all. There is a similar vibe, however, that flows through a beautiful melody and unforgettable hooks.
Likewise, “Curse of My Desire” and “Quiet Whales” bring to mind Tears For Fears, and even a bit of Roxy Music, if that band had had a killer guitarist. Steffey isn’t afraid to use vintage keyboard sounds, which fit perfectly into these tracks and gives them a definite visual quality. Involuntarily, my mind was creating videos as I listened. Check out his website to hear samples. Very highly recommended.