Last week, a dear friend released his first solo album: Deleo Creo by the artist Stemson. Th0ere are a couple of things that make this release particularly special. The album was the maiden project for a larger experiment called 'Thirty Day Guy;' in which the creator, Stefan Tomlinson, will attempt to do something completely new to him every month, either doing the same thing for thirty days straight or focusing on completing one thing from start to finish within that time. Thus, Deleo Creo was born. Stefan wrote the lyrics and compositions, recorded the music, mixed, mastered, and released the album in the span of thirty days, and I must say: the results are impressive.
Deleo Creo is a diverse collection of songs, spanning from upbeat and sarcastic to honest and downtrodden, reaching even into heartfelt and passionately angry. Stemson's wide background of influences are on display, as the album covers a lot of ground in terms of genre. To name a few (and these are not necessarily his influences, but merely who the songs reminded me of), I found there to be hints of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Postal Service, Listener, mewithoutYou, A$AP Rocky, Relient K, and Sufjan Stevens, among others. There is also a slew of talented guest appearances; the who's-who of Albuquerque's local music scene.
What makes the piece so impressive is that it does not feel rushed, though it was almost surely a down-to-the-wire sort of project. The cover art is great, the production is quite good, the lyrics are strong, and several of the melodies are genuinely catchy in a won't-get-out-of-your-head sort of way (the first three tracks in particular). While the songs stand stronger as individual pieces than lending to a consistent whole, this does not discount the album's worth overall. My favorites were Kindle, The Doctor, The Cherry Pit, Hammer-Fetter-Hearts, and Frames and Plaster.
The best part? Stemson has put up the album for free (or Pay-What-You-Want, and may I highly recommend generosity?). So go grab the album, then follow @30DayGuy on Twitter and on YouTube to keep up with the experiment. He's already delivered on month number one, so I'm excited to see what he can accomplish from here on (and hopefully there will be more albums coming down the line).