On Friday, Stutter Steps will release Reeling (Blue Arrow), the follow-up to 2017’s Floored EP. The “band” is essentially Pittsburgh’s Ben Harrison, whose self-titled 2015 Stutter Steps debut was a collaboration with members of Ladybug Transistor and Essex Green. MAGNET featured album track “Fog.”
This time around, Harrison worked with Anthony LaMarca, who currently plays guitar in War On Drugs and previously served as St. Vincent’s drummer. But it was another LaMarca project that brought him together with Harrison for Reeling: Dean & Britta’s 13 Most Beautiful: Songs For Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests. A series of live performances as well as a double album (MAGNET featured a track from it as well), 13 Most Beautiful was co-commissioned by the Andy Warhol Museum, where Harrison works at the curator of performing arts. As 13‘s producer, Harrison went on tour with Dean & Britta for the live installations, which not only inspired him to start writing music again after a decade-long lapse but also introduced him to LaMarca (from nearby Youngstown, Ohio), who was in D&B’s band.
While LaMarca produced and played a number of instruments on Reeling, the dozen-track LP is definitely a showcase for Harrison and his stellar songs. One of the standouts is opener “Giant Sand Heart.” And while the title of the tune sounds like it could refer to Howe Gelb’s ticker, it instead has a much more literal meaning.
“I wrote it while my wife and kids were stuck in Houston for a week during Hurricane Harvey,” says Harrison. “I remember my wife telling me that they were putting sandbags around my mother-in-law’s house, and I had this image of a bird’s-eye view of a heart-shaped outline of sandbags around the house, which gave me the title. I suppose it also just reflects the apoplectic state you can get in regarding global warming and relying on scientific-based fact over manic, culture of fear media.”
We’re proud to premiere the Zack Eisenfeld-directed video for “Giant Sand Heart” today on magnetmagazine.com. Watch it right here, right now.