Finishing his umpteenth album, multi-instrumentalist, bmx dude, and all around fantastic guy… Kurt von Stetten released Cyclops, the follow up to one of my favorite albums from last year Pyramid. It’s interesting to see the change album to album, and there is certainly one here. The do it yourself album does not come easy to many. To say that Kurt is one of my favorite Boston dudes would be downplaying it, and to say that I’m motivated to write lots of great things about him well he’s earned it.
What makes Cyclops stand out is the curiosity it displays. Von Stetten who is obviously a talented guy (plays every instrument on the record) seems to be constantly evolving, learning new things, and trying things out. Its in this that Cyclops wins. You can feel it in every song, its experimental, but pop motivated, Kurt never seems to lose sight of making a song accessible; regardless of the quirky things going on in the music. From cello ballads about indie rock kids, to erratic indie rock of yesteryear (He’s No Writer) to and my favorite L.A.R.P the 90’s throwback slow burner that sounds like it belongs on a blur album. Honestly, the album deepens with each listen, and I’ve very much enjoyed hearing it again and again.
Kurt’s music doesn’t exactly fit into any one genre, and I wouldn’t say its genre-busting, its just the right coalescence of experimentalism and sensibility, a push pull relationship that can be hard to swallow at first, and seem rather erratic, but upon numerous listens you’ll find that Cyclops hits the right notes, pushes the right buttons and becomes near and dear to the heart. To me, it all seems meaningless to try and define his music and put it in a box, its everything and nothing at the same time. That’s all the deep pontification I can muster without seeming like a total fanboy.