So here is the full album that almost made me famous! It’s widely thought of as my debut, although this isn’t strictly true if you include 2001’s Amber.
This record had a long gestation period (4 years of ups and downs, band reshuffles, near misses with major label success etc) and I think that’s reflected in the multitudes of ideas crammed into many of the tracks. It’s perhaps a little overdeveloped in places, but it is what it is - a widescreen musical snapshot of a long, long journey which is too long to describe in detail here!
(This is where I slip into a black polo necked sweater, thick rimmed specs and start stroking my chin...)
The title holds a few different meanings to me, but in essence the “Scene” part touches on the tangible images in the record – where I write about my surroundings and my observations of them. “The Unseen” is more a representation of the hidden things within & behind it – stuff like dreams, hopes, faith, emotions etc. You could also describe the Scene as the journey and the Unseen the destination.
Some have suggested that it also references the Sheffield music scene which was at the time enjoying a national revival around us thanks to a handful of NME championed spiky gritty observational indie bands, led in no small part by the Arctic Monkeys. That might also be partly true, but I can’t totally remember.
The fact that the whole title is a dreadful pun is a reminder to not take any of the above (or me) too seriously.
It's largely a "bedroom recording" tho some of the tracks were later polished up with the help of band members, friends and a local studio. It’s a diverse collection of songs, and while this eclecticism hopefully makes for an interesting listen, it likely made it a nightmare to market! As a result, it may always be filed under “critically acclaimed, yet commercially challenged!” I think I can live with that.
It was originally released on limited run CD & download in July 2006 on TooNice records, then later re-released nationwide on my own Sonicroar label in Nov 2007.
It picked up a couple of iTunes "Singles of the week" and some other ego massaging accolades along the way. While I’ve no doubt there’s one or two scathing reviews out there, overall it was pretty warmly received and tracks from the record even pop up in TV shows & Hollywood films occasionally, which is always nice.
Feel free to click on the song title for more in depth ramblings.
Some Critic Snippits:
"..One moment the gifted lone operator affects the kind of trenchant rock-riff panache associated with the younger Bowie, the next he's rattling off urban nightlife images with the droll elegance of The Kinks...
The Independent 4/5
"... A Gem of a debut, packed with invention..”
"......The Scene & The Unseen is lyrically sharp but defies classification as Stoney runs the gamut of the best pop over the past 40 years. Bits of Bowie, Syd Barrett, Ray Davies, Beck, even ELO float by and every song is a great new experience….”
Sunday Express 4/5
“…, The echoes in his music of the Small Faces, solo McCartney and Hunky Dory Bowie share space with an up-to-date musical eccentricity and elasticity that calls to mind Beck, Super Furry Animals and Ed Harcourt. In other words, weird enough to be hip, commercial enough to be huge....”
released December 7, 2007
2007 Sonicroar Records/Transistor Records
Artwork & Photography by the wonderful Phil Gribbon AKA DesignByGecko
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