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“Steve’s most mature collection of songs and his finest singing to date. Brilliant.”
– Paul Weller
Pixels and Paper is the fantastically accomplished new album by acclaimed Liverpool singer-songwriter STEVE PILGRIM. Steve, as drummer for The Stands supported Paul Weller on tour back in 2004, an encounter that would lead to Steve being approached to replace longstanding Weller drummer Steve White in 2008. Finding his feet as a songwriter, Steve released the well received debut disc ‘Lover, Love Her’ in 2007. The follow-up ‘Sunshine’ in 2009 gained greater attention and warm reviews, following Steve’s inclusion in Paul Weller’s band. Produced by Steve, Pixels and Paper is the most lyrical and musically satisfying work to date from the Merseyside troubadour who has backed scores of musicians in Liverpool and beyond over the past decade. The album was recorded in Paul Weller’s home studio and was engineered and mixed by Weller’s in-house studio engineer Charles Rees. An integral part of The Modfather’s band live and in the studio, Steve steps out from behind the drumkit to perform acoustic guitar and backing vocals up front with the man himself during gigs as part of an intimate unplugged section.
Where STEVE PILGRIM’S first two albums were largely solitary affairs, powered mainly by Steve and his acoustic guitar, the broadened sound palate on Pixels and Paper is a revelation. Behind the desk as arranger and producer for the album, Steve assembled an incredible array of musicians, many of whom he has worked with over the past decade. Seeing as the album was recorded at Paul Weller’s home studio in Woking, it comes as no surprise that The Modfather himself puts in an appearance. Weller performs backing vocals, electric guitar and Wurlitzer to three songs including the raucous ‘Firecracker’ and live favourite and standout track ‘Explode the Sun’.
The Coral’s former lead guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones, now a solo artist in his own right contributes electric guitar to two songs, while revered folk guitarist John Smith lends his talents to the reflective ‘Suggested in Rhyme’. Folk singer Rachael Wright accompanies Steve on many of the tracks, her strong, keening voice adding texture to the songs. Rachael’s presence continues the collaboration between the two musicians since Steve played drums on Rachael’s 2007 album ‘Like He Said’.
Pixels and Paper clocks in at a concise 35 minutes in the spirit of classic LPs such as Nick Drake’s ‘Pink Moon’ and Van Morrison’s ‘Moondance’. Both key influences on the writing of the album, Steve felt the LP as artistic statement, to be listened to as a complete work in its entirety start to finish was a guiding principal during the project.
The breadth of the material covered from folk through to roots, acoustic balladry, mournful country and blues inflected rock showcases the musical journey Steve has been on since his last record, the growing strength of his songwriting and the superb musicians he has encountered along the way.
To accompany the release of Pixels and Paper STEVE PILGRIM will be staging a mini-tour which culminates in a show at The Zanzibar Club Liverpool, the scene of so many seminal gigs for Merseyside bands and where it all started for Steve back in 2002.
‘Pilgrim has a great soulful ache of a voice and a brave, wide open lyrical stance… This is how you do it.’ - Rob Fitzpatrick - Word magazine