Singer songwriter Stephen just released his highly anticipated second album Akrasia, challenging the boundaries of his groundbreaking indie-electronic sound across eleven new tracks.
When we first debuted Stephen’s lead single “I Never Stay In Love“, it was clear the LA-based artist was cooking up something special. The track’s aggressive, gritty production paired with Stephen’s powerful vocals were a departure from the era of “Crossfire;” the viral 2016 track had catapulted Stephen among the ranks of indie electronic artists. Yet, a diagnosis of Lyme disease sent Stephen through a coast-to-coast whirlwind of self-discovery and personal growth. Akrasia is the artist’s first full-length effort since — it’s a clash of self-love and self-deprecation, compulsion and overthinking.
We’d be remiss to pretend this is your standard easy listen. The album is beautifully discordant, and Stephen holds no fears in delivering an emotive vocal performance. The first half of the album carries a heavier tone, with tracks like “Idiot” and “Alien“, with Stephen bellowing over spacious and industrial-influenced hip hop production.
On “Stray Nights“, Stephen transitions to a more pop-friendly tone with gentle guitars and sweeping melodies with the help of an unlisted female vocalist. Other tracks showcase Stephen’s dynamism as a producer, songwriter, and vocalist side-by-side, like the ballad-inspired “When We’re Sober” and instantly memorable hooks on “Timeless“.
Akrasia is “the state of mind in which someone acts against their better judgment through weakness of will” — for Stephen, a life-changing diagnosis, an impulsive one-way extended stay in Thailand, and compulsive pursuits of pleasure. Yet, Stephen has managed to flip his adversity on its head, and though that doesn’t mean any of it was easy, Akrasia is perfectly emblematic of that.
Akrasia is available for streaming below and purchase here.