Steve French hail from the same vibrant Amsterdam DIY-scene as Pip Blom, Personal Trainer, The Klittens, and Global Charming. The sheer creativity within these bands has been flowing like chained lightning during the past decade. Steve French was no exception when they released the aptly-titled LP Lightning Tiger Running, spearheaded by the infectious “I Dream Of Being A Machine”, in 2019.
On their upcoming LP Dogs, the well-oiled machine shows its first signs of sputtering. With the spry irreverence fading and those coming-of-age revelations slowly creeping in, Steve French’s founding member Cees Paris refines his unvarnished, introspective songwriting, finding close kinship with artists such as Sparklehorse, Jim O’ Rourke, Nap Eyes, and Silver Jews. The album’s first single “Country Blues Dilettante” is an ambivalent alt-country gem that recalls the swoon of early Wilco.
According to Paris, “Country Blues Dilettante” tells the tale of someone letting go of their creative ambitions, attempting to convince themselves to be free of any burdens. “(The protagonist of the song) tries to already imagine how easy life suddenly becomes once you let go of your dreams. The passionate amateur looking for the path of least resistance.” The song’s self-effacing grace lies in its big-beaming hooks (“Cause I don’t make hits like LCD“) and Paris’s wry sense of humor (“Everything’s easy / everything else is easy after all this trying to think of a word to sing out of key”).