The Civil Twilight’s lead singer Steven Dayvid McKellar, has his first solo album coming out later this year. He recently premiered a new song from that album, a melancholy electronic pop track called “Don’t Ask Me Why.” From the blipping electronic beat to McKellar’s subdued vocal delivery, it’s a promising preview for the new album, which is called ETHIO.
From its structure to the rich instrumentation, “Don’t Ask Me Why” recalls Amnesiac/Kid A era Radiohead. The track is accompanied by a music video, which features various shots including silhouettes, saturated clips of random everyday objects and other images that complement the experimental pop track.
By the time musician and painter Steven Dayvid McKellar had transferred to paper the host of ideas, images and phrases that would become “ETHIO,” he’d filled a wall of his writing room with yellow Post-It notes. As if plotting out some vast conspiracy, he’d profiled a set of characters, placed them in uniquely American settings, commenced drawing connections.
McKellar’s solo debut after establishing himself as founder of the acclaimed rock band Civil Twilight, “ETHIO” is a kind of musical manifestation of his conclusions. A streamlined set of songs driven by warm, precisely arranged synthetic and acoustic tones, its eight songs celebrate not only melody and rhythm, but the space and silence among the measures.