"…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
The diverse yet distinctive songwriting talent of Mark Stoney has been held in high regard by music pundits on both sides of the Atlantic for some years now, and his return to the UK this winter armed with an arsenal of new songs after two years of refining his craft in an artist community in Texas will be welcome news to those who have been long awaiting the follow up to 2007’s critically acclaimed self produced album “The Scene & the Unseen”, a lyrically sharp genre-hopping record which won the then Sheffield based multi-instrumentalist and charismatic live performer glowing international media praise and endorsements ranging from über producer Rick Rubin to Arctic Monkeys front man Alex Turner among many others.
Shortly after it’s release, Stoney performed at the SXSW 08 festival in Austin and decided to stay, setting up home and studio with a small community of “quirky poet & painter friends” in an old creaky house in the city where has been ever since, meticulously developing his craft and trying everything from playing slide guitar in redneck country bands to learning how to “chop & screw” with southern hip-hop artists (not as illegal as it sounds apparently). Further unlikely collaborations along the way with Hip hop/R&B producer Darin Prindle (Destiny’s child, Madonna) in Atlanta and Austin based rock producer C.J Eiriksson (U2, Incubus) have added a fascinating dimension to Stoney’s own more folksy home-grown production.
A re-emergence at last years SXSW with Laura Marling & Aqualung for a show hosted by U.S tastemaker D.J Nic Harcourt gave a brief glimpse of a more sophisticated and sincere earthy folk-tinged sound, which is showcased in his brutally beautiful forthcoming E.P “The Soar Before”, the first instalment in a series of small releases planned which see Stoney’s natural British pop sensibilities refined with profoundly intimate lyrics and soaring melodic arrangements that burst with personality, passion and depth.