Michael Stasis Recieves His Musical Introduction With 'RIP III'
Writing hundreds of songs in countless bedrooms in many different cities, that’s Michael Stasis’ modus operandi. He's a lesser-known artist in need of an introduction and 'RIP III' is just that. A grab bag of songs displaying Stasis' many faces.
Drawing comparisons to popular bedroom recorders like Ariel Pink as well as pioneers of the form like R. Stevie Moore and Cleaners from Venus, Stasis not only operates in the same fidelity as those artists, but he shares their sense of humor as well. Sporting a song titled "Land of the Goths" and lyrics dryly describing a cow standing in a field, 'RIP III' does an admirable job of presenting an artist with a well-drawn sense of playfulness.
There's a fair share of bedroom pop fare here with washed out synths, gliding guitar rhythms, and wispy vocal melodies. However, Stasis smartly mixes the formula to keep the collection eclectic, retaining the attention of the listener with the occasional out-of-left-field surprise.
Album highlight “Brown Cow” shows glimpses of grander ambition with a classic Krautrock rhythm, playful instrumentation and a stern synthesizer wave (as well as the aforementioned wryly benign lyrics about a cow in a field). Tracks like "Crushed" echo fellow bedroom pop upstart (and California based musician) Mike Krol, filtering garage rock ferocity through power pop grandstanding.
"Greenskin" is the most lo-fi statement here, building homespun charm from steady guitars and lyrics about a Native American with a Marlon Brando tattoo. Stasis genre hops on a whim here, checking new wave, warm yacht rock, and surf pop off his list on the first half of the collection alone.
If the comparisons in the previous paragraphs haven't clued you in enough, Michael Stasis is working within a crowded field of intimate bedroom artists. What sets him apart is his humorous approach and the uncanny ability to sell his stranger songwriting urges.
'RIP III' isn't the debut of an artist who burst forth from nowhere, but an introduction to the type of musician who must be found after hours of digging through sites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud. It just so happens that someone else did the digging for us.
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Words by Keenan Novi