Exposé Online banner

William Steffey — Reality Jockey
((Not on label) no#, 2019, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-08-01

Reality Jockey Cover art

When I first heard William Steffey’s Reality Jockey, his name didn’t ring a bell, but that’s not because I’d never heard his music before. He was in the band Boolean Knife, which I wrote about a few years ago. I really liked the band’s music, which was a smart take on what is often called “power pop,” but on this solo album, he’s moved into a somewhat different area, though the catchy melodies and clever lyrics are definitely still present, just presented in a new setting. Reality Jockey gives us 11 tracks of sophisticated music which incorporates a number of flavors. Several songs could readily be called rock, and resemble the sound of Boolean Knife (and by extension, such bands as Teenage Fanclub), but others rely more on synthesizers and programmed percussion, and others feature more extensive orchestration with horns and other instruments — I have been unable to find credits that detail the players or even if the instruments are real or simulated. Certainly if they’re not real, they are very well done fakes. Every song has a distinctive sound: “Decidedly Blue” leans towards jazz with acoustic bass and a horn section; “Rise” is a lovely instrumental interlude with percussion backing what sounds like harmonium and Mellotron; “Shangri-La” is a techno-pop gem; “Lamppost on Sawyer” is another instrumental, this one with detuned piano, cello, and synth arpeggios, very moody; “Clothes of the Devil” is a lovely acoustic tune backed by acoustic guitar with brass and woodwinds. The lyrics are full of wonderful phrases that don’t give up their meaning easily. I’m reminded at times of other songwriters like Lonny Ziblat, David Yazbek, Samuel Andreyev, and even Andy Partridge or Mike Keneally. Smart music for smart people!


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): William Steffey

More info
http://williamsteffey.com/discography/reality-jockey/

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Centrozoon - The Scent of Crash and Burn – Centrozoon represents the combined talents of singer Tim Bowness together with the German duo of Markus Reuter and Bernhard Wösteinrich. The trio does a fine job navigating around sophisticated...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues