Location: Austin, TX (Formerly Sheffield, UK)
Styles: Indie, Alternative, Rock, Pop
Similar to: David Bowie, Beck, The Kinks
CD: More Than Animals (album)
Release date: Jan 14, 2014
Select festivals played: SXSW,(Austin) Glastonbury, (UK) Leeds/Reading (UK)
Bands toured/played with: Arctic Monkeys, Aqualung, Athlete, Feeder, Jamie T, Reverend & The Makers, Laura Marling
Last album (Seen & The Unseen) Record of the week on: KCRW, Kink FM, BBC Radio 2, BBC 6music, The Daily Record, The Independent, iTunes x3 (Constantly Running, Holds The Stars, Until You Leave). Featured on Arctic Monkeys’ iTunes celebrity playlist, KCRW CD compilation, BBC Saturday Sessions compilation
For those with knowledge of the UK underground music scene, The name Mark Stoney may already be a familiar one, for the distinctive songwriting talent of the critically acclaimed and somewhat enigmatic multi-instrumentalist has been held in high regard among many in the know on both sides of the Atlantic for some time now, and his long awaited return with new album “More Than Animals” demonstrates Stoney’s natural British pop sensibilities refined with profoundly intimate lyrics and soaring melodic arrangements that burst with passion, personality, and depth.
Now a transplant in Austin, Texas, Stoney was raised the son of a preacher in the UK’s South London suburbs before drifting up north to Sheffield, where in his musical infancy he became a key figure as a performer and producer in the Steel City’s blossoming music scene, later labelled as the “New Yorkshire Movement” by the NME. Stoney’s keen ear for classic pop melody combined with a sharp lyrical potency and rare ability to effectively blend genres from folk to soaring rock to trip-hoppy-electronica earned him a loyal following in the city that spawned such acts as Pulp, The Human League and Arctic Monkeys to name a few. His self-released debut album “The Scene & the Unseen” had been circulated among musicians for some time before it eventually grew to catch the attention of the UK media, spawning glowing reviews and accolades across the UK press. The NME described it as “A hidden gem of a record, packed with invention” while broadsheets such as the Sunday Times and The independent compared him favorably to some of the UK’s most prominent songwriters. Radio play and guest appearances on 6music, BBC R2 and Xfm led to Festival appearances at Glastonbury & Leeds, and high profile tours with the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Aqualung and Athlete forged Stoney a reputation as an exhilarating live performer. The record even found it’s way over the Atlantic and into the hands of uber producer Rick Rubin who flew Stoney to LA for a private show. Tastemaker DJ Nic Harcourt too became a fan and after heavy championing on his LA-based KCRW show, Stoney’s music started popping up in several Hollywood films and TV shows.
Despite his growing success, Stoney, true to form, cut an elusive path and decided to up-sticks and cross the pond to Texas, following a performance at the world renowned SXSW festival. Citing a need for “sunshine and change” he set up home and studio with a small community of “quirky poet and painter friends” in an old creaky house in Austin to work on new material.
Shortly after, he unexpectedly re-emerged with a new musical act called “Bobby Jealousy”. Co- founded with neighbor and friend Seth Gibbs and local punk firecracker Sabrina Ellis, the trio of songwriters combined classic pop songwriting with a punk energy and soulful melodies to great effect. Defining the term “Dirt-Pop”, Bobby Jealousy quickly became one of Austin’s most lauded bands for their originality and rigorous live shows. The release of their 2012 debut album “A Little Death” received fevered praise in Austin and beyond, securing them a place at the ACL festival and prompting Stoney to hit the road once more to extensively tour both coasts of the U.S with the band, before parting ways to resume his solo work.
More than Animals is the title of Stoney’s new full length album due for release Jan 14, 2014 via digital download and Ltd edition C.D, supported by full band live appearances to be announced shortly.
“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”
The Sunday Times
“The British singer-songwriter recalls a younger David Bowie with the dapper swagger of The Kinks. He can easily switch between coy rock songs about nightlife and Elliott Smith-inspired bedroom folk….”
– NPR Music
“What’s certain is that this young multi-instrumentalist oozes star appeal, and possesses enough talent to back up the bravado.”
Drowned in Sound 9/10
“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
Members/Instruments: Mark Stoney (almost all instruments)
Production: Mark Stoney, C.J Eiriksson (U2, Blue October) Warren Huart (Aerosmith, The Thrills, Hot hot heat)
1. Sweet Release
2. The Score
3. Defiantly Loved
4. We Belonged
5. Devil On My Back
6. House Of Mirrors
8. Let it Go
10.Cock of the Walk
12. Round Here