Stream Modern Hut’s debut album, Generic Treasure
STREAM GENERIC TREASURE VIA PITCHFORK ADVANCE HERE
For someone who is singing about miscommunication, psychic distance, and irrational fears, Joe Steinhardt is a particularly eloquent lyricist. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s also been working on these songs for six years. Produced by Screaming Females’ Marissa Paternoster, who also plays on the record, Generic Treasure has been in the works since 2007, having been recorded and scrapped multiple times over that period until it felt and sounded exactly how Steinhardt felt the songs needed to.
Generic Treasure is meticulously detailed, eleven tracks of acoustic guitar marked by Steinhardt’s distinct monotone drawl. It starts with “Mid-Tempo,” an apt introduction to the inner-confusions he often sings about: “Life’s been so mid-tempo these days / that I don’t even know what I’m trying to say.” That’s followed by a slowed-down version of “Just Pray,” previously recorded by his former band For Science. On “Life,” Steinhardt’s voice raises an octave, balanced by alternating throaty verses by Screaming Females’ Marissa Paternoster who also produced the record. “I’m not proud of the things I’ve done in this life,” Steinhardt sings over a bouncy acoustic guitar riff. “But that’s alright, ‘cause I will die.” The sentiment can seem either depressing or inspired, depending on your perspective. The sing-song melodies and rhymes maintain the dark sense of humor that seems to permeate the rest of the album as well.
The album’s smartest criticism comes in “History,” a song that’s lyrics could resonate on their own on paper: “I had a dream last night that the world was spinning on it side. I’m not sure what that means,” he sings with a dry sensibility that makes these words seem undeniable. “When I woke up I saw a nation of overnight sensations where irony was currency.” It’s the sort of disillusioned criticism of the music industry that would be written by someone like Steinhardt, whose been skeptically observing the music world for years. “People were writing their own history / nothing was left to mystery / everything was planned / it all felt like a scam.”
8/4 – Cambridge, MA – The Lily Pad *
8/5 – Portsmouth, NH – Book and Bar *
8/6 – Burlington, VT – Angioplasty Studio *
8/7 – Ithaca, NY – Angry Mom Records *
8/8 – New Brunswick, NJ – Cooler Ranch (house show) *
8/9 – Brooklyn, NY – Death By Audio * @
8/10 – Washington DC – The Dollhouse (house show) *
8/11 – Philadelphia, PA – Golden Tea House (house show) * #
@ = w/ Shellshag unplugged, Mal Blum & Worriers