Steve Lawson Releases “The Arctic Is Burning”

Steve Lawson: The Arctic is BurningSteve Lawson has released a new album that marks his 30th solo album in 20 years. As with nearly all of his work, The Arctic is Burning is an instrumental, improvised solo bass record that is thoughtful and beautiful.

“It is, as with everything I do, live single unedited performances,” Lawson explains. “I’m playing bass and Quneo – a MIDI control surface that allows me to play drums (and in other situations, piano and anything else I choose.”

The album’s theme centers on climate change with the title track even being recorded on the hottest day in British history. Lawson utilizes his bag of tricks to create soundscapes representing to build the emotions in each track, though his palette is a little different from his last few releases.

“One of the joys of not being wedded to a particular genre is that I can go where the story leads, much as a film or documentary composer might. All the music here is, I imagine, pretty easily recognisable as me, but there are quite a few of the things I’ve been building on over the last few years that are wholly absent from this set. There’s little that draws all that heavily on hip hop for its rhythmic ideas (though the more I listen to the drum loops on Business As Usual And Wildfire, the more I hear that coming through), or on Allan Holdsworth for its harmonic ideas (a recurring theme since PS You Are Brilliant). There’s a lot that’s straight up diatonic, I think it’s all in 4/4, and much of it is distinctly Floyd-ish (that’s Pink, not Keith).”

Check out Lawson’s direction on the album opener, “Business As Usual”:

The Arctic Is Burning is available exclusively through BandCamp, where Lawson also has a subscription service.

The Arctic Is Burning Track List:

  1. Business As Unusual
  2. The Arctic Is Burning
  3. Wildfire
  4. Start Everywhere

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