If there's one thing to know about Oakland-based songwriter Stephen Steinbrink's upcoming album Utopia Teased is that it will dig deep into your emotional core. "Mom," the last single he shared that featured vocals from Jay Som's Melina Duterte, is about finding solace in an Walmart parking lot, letting his exhausted soul rest for once. The project as a whole took form during the immediate aftermath of the Ghost Ship fire, with Steinbrink locking himself in a room with a newly bought synthesizer and LSD.
Today he's sharing "A Part Of Me Is A Part Of You" on The FADER, another doozy of a track that could send you into a minor existential crisis if you let yourself think too hard on it. Backed by bright synth production that gives me flashes of an old sitcom opening theme, the track is an, almost brutally, honest look at letting go — with a hopeful end. Steinbrink explains it best in his written note below:
"I wrote this song in January of 2017, and since then I’ve grown to think of it as a love song about attachment, and how to let it go. How hard I was resisting change that winter, desperately grasping and contorting myself into impossible positions trying to hold on close to what I wanted. As I collaged the song together, I had these vivid images in my head that are woven into the first two verses: imagining the nightmare of an old lover with their new person, remembered conversations with people who are dead, old joys that were specific to a moment in time that I’ll never experience again. Then, in the third verse, an optimistic reconciliation of that with a new idea that something can remain a part of me after if it’s gone, which calmed the grief and anger. The hope that experiences can bend my DNA and exist forever outside of time."
12/01 - Seattle, WA @ Woodland Theater
12/2 - Olympia, WA @ Hobbit Hole *
12/04 - Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater #
12/06 - Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge %
12/11 - San Francisco, CA @ Hotel Utah ^
# w/ Lomelda, Musical Tracing & Wizard Apprentice
* w/ Wolfgang Strutz
% w/ Sean Bonnette (of AJJ)
^ w/ Advance Base & Lisa/Liza