Imagine this: One night, you’re listening to 1010 WINS, the local AM news station in NYC (or whatever station you find yourself listening to from time to time), and the air goes dead.
Everything stops for a moment, or at least the radio signal does. The long silence comes as a surprise, a gift.
These are the exact words Steven Gunn uses to describe what inspired him to write his newest single “Fulton.”
That may not be the first thing you expect to be the inspiration for a songwriters, but Steve Gunn is no plain artist. His music moves you into realms unforeseen and really makes you think.
In fact, he always seems to find a world of fantasy and reality within his art, into which he inserts himself- “Fulton” is just another sensational example. Listeners of this song can hear a guitar sail alongside a bright piano, layered by a tender-sounding voice.
Gunn is a New York-based guitarist and songwriter. He has been pursuing a music career spanning nearly fifteen years. In this time, he has produced a magnitude of critically acclaimed solo, duo, and ensemble recordings. His albums embody “milestones of contemporary guitar-driven material, and forward thinking songwriting,” as described in his Spotify biography.
Over the years, Gunn has explored his sound and took his time in processing his inspirations into a singular, virtuosic stream. Gunn claims his music holds close influences of blues, folk, ecstatic free jazz, and psych. In 2016, The Washington Post coined his first album for Matador Records, Eyes On The Lines, “so intimate and so mysteriously distant all at once”.
It’s interesting to think about his inspiration for the song, and how he’s singing about a strange moment of silence on the radio, stating “it felt like everything stopped,” and yet, the song feels full of movement. Perhaps, it’s as if that moment of silence transcends Gunn into a space of tranquility, making space for new ideas and feelings to suddenly come through, and flooding the song with articulate, yet imaginative images left up to interpretation.
Gunn is definitely not afraid to step outside of his comfort zone, in both his life and in his artistry. In fact, Gunn, whose guitar playing is often praised for its melodic inventiveness, switched coasts from New York to Los Angeles to make Other You, in hopes that the new surroundings might inspire a new musical approach.
Other You, his sixth-studio album, is set for an August 27 release and can be preordered now. Gunn is currently supporting William Tyler on a short run of dates through July and will play across the US in December with Jeff Parker.