Release Date: 25th October 2019
Formats: CD / LP / DD / DSP
Label: Sacred Bones
Bigger Than Life is the third album from Chris Stewart aka Black Marble. Every aspect of the this album was written, recorded, played and produced by Stewart himself.
Set against an L.A. backdrop, Bigger Than Life is a sumptuous slice of synth music. Throughout, there are pulsing, warm synths, with Stewart’s 80’s style vocals adding that distinct retro feel.
One Eye Open is an upbeat track propelled by a repetitive beat with melodic flashes spurting off the central beat. Images of neon cities and basement clubs spark off in the brain. Feels also plays into this aesthetic, but the lyrics feel more pertinent to the track – the title of the track gives away the focus of the song.
Grey Eyeliner takes plenty of inspiration from New Order. The melody is created by a stark guitar motif and the driving bass is something Peter Hook could certainly have produced. The same could be said of the title track of the album as the bass guitar gets ingrained in your mind throughout the track.
Instrumental interludes punctuate the album superbly; they help hold the whole of the album together.
As the album gets to its closing strains, Shoulder is a playful song. Again, the flashes of synth burst with light and vibrancy. The low end of the song again traverses with the snare like drum beat. Putting the vocals higher in the mix is something Black Marble have consciously thought of on this effort; it’s a great stroke as they really bring the album to life.
The highlight of the album comes right at the end with The Call. Imagine if you will, those films with that Hollywood sunset, and the final act has taken place, and the credits are rolling…this is the song that you want to hear on the completion of that film. Chiming guitar, deep drums and bass and once again, Stewart’s excellent vocal.
Sacred Bones and Black Marble have created a stellar record that is one of the true highlights of 2019.