Steve Mason Invites You to “Meet the Humans”

27 Jul

For much of his musical career, Steve Mason (the Scottish singer-songwriter, not the hockey player), has created music in relative obscurity.

In the early 2000s, he was most closely associated with the Beta Band. I know. You’re trying to think if you’ve ever heard of the Beta Band. And you probably haven’t.

Then, around 2008 or 2009, the band folded. And for a while, it looked as if that might be the end of Mason’s musical career. But luckily for him — and especially for us — it wasn’t.

In 2010, Mason released a solo album called Boys Outside. And it had a number of exquisite indie-rock and electro-pop compositions that caught the ears and turned the heads of indie music critics and fans alike.

Mason followed Boys Outside with another full-length album in 2013. And now, in 2016, he’s back again with Meet the Humans, far and away his best collection yet.

Meet the Humans is invigorating, uplifting and inspiring. It’s bouncy, bold and big at times — projecting a confidence that’s somewhat reminiscent of bands such as Shearwater or Bastille.

The album opens with “Water Bored,” catchy electro-pop with a shuffling beat and a serious message.

Another standout is the urgent and intense “Planet Sizes,” the first single from the album. Beginning with rapidly played keyboards and strummed guitar, the song soars into an anthem.

Halfway through the 11-song set, you’ll encounter “To a Door” that’s remarkably similar to Toto’s “Africa” — with an affecting rhythm and somewhat breathy, easy-going vocals like Toto’s or the Moody Blues. Careful — this one will get stuck in your head.

Finally, as often is the case with great albums, the closing track is worth your attention as well. “Words in my Head” has a trip-hop-infused beat under a swirling, somewhat atmospheric arrangement featuring piano and synth strings.

Critics have been very impressed with Meet the Human, and there’s a good chance you will be too. Don’t miss it!

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