With more flowery loveliness and pop culture references than one can count, Steph Stephenson’s sobering EP Going Out Tomorrow is a dagger through the heart of all things relevant.
Like a hippy caught in the gears of a turntable, the EP follows a less than linear road of folky blushes and soul-pop meddling. Title track ‘Going Out Tomorrow’ takes a swipe at the isolating nature of social media technology, as Stephenson lullabies a rhythmic critique of a virtual society. The sharp difference between her shining voice and her contemptuous words give food for thought on our social climate, whilst joyfully twanging up a lively folk record.
‘Mississippi’ embellishes a more tranquil picture: “I like to bathe under black clouds // and feel the shadows on my skin”, are the marked words of a world closer to nature; more peaceful and euphoric. The rhythms are more forgiving, and the lyrics are more eased. And there, Stephenson’s vision is complete, yet agonisingly far from reality.
Between the opening and closing tracks, lie ‘Pollution’, featuring a rap section performed and written by No Change, and the plucky abstract ‘Train’. In a change of pace, ‘Train’ digresses of escapism, and imagines the calmness of a loving companionship. ‘Pollution’, however, follows on from ‘Going Out Tomorrow’ and rips the white flag between the environment and the society. It’s a no holds barred attack at society for it’s ignorance towards the ways in which the environment is treated. Stephenson sings “But I don’t blame you for being human”, and acknowledges our flaws as human beings.
Accomplished, political and graciously executed, Steph Stephenson has successfully mashed together the song-bird style of folk music, and the brashness of social critique in a short, four-track EP. Together, it listens lightly, but conveys strong messages and an overall spiderweb of thought.