The Steadfast Son is from Albany, NY. They’re a relatively new band which formed their current line-up in August of 2016. They were started by frontman (vocalist/guitarist) Brian Magnan. After graduating from music school he came up with an idea for a concept album. Soon after the first song was written he enlisted close friend Josh Blaauboer to play drums. Initially, the album was recorded as a solo project in which Magnan intended to have a few friends help him out with instruments, but when bassist Matthew Poelma joined the line-up Magnan decided to make their trio an official band. While finishing the album, The Steadfast Son played local live shows in order to gain experience and a following. With the exception of their single "Butterflies" which is featured on the album, "You and I" is the very first release for The Steadfast Son. The band is currently working on promoting the album and booking summer shows, so watch out for all of that.
Their latest 14-track album You and I opens with “Love Letters.” Muffled guitar swoops up and down in volume before suddenly exploding into view. Rapidly pulsing drums, rapidly chugged guitars, and twangs of distorted lead riffs all combine to create an energetic and vibrant pop punk sound. The vocals add to this style, and while they’re sung well (in tune), I’m left feeling as if this isn’t much different to most other bands from this genre. Still, this may not necessarily be a bad thing. It’s better to sound influenced than to sound bad. The Steadfast Son most certainly has a well-polished sound. The hooks are relatively catchy in this opening track, though it’s later in the album that the band gets into their stride.
“Okay” is a real change of pace which reminds me of old pop-punk scene bands such as My Chemical Romance and Escape The Fate. It’s got a catchy piano chord progression, softly-strummed acoustic guitar, and harmonized vocals. The lyrics are bittersweet, claiming that, “You’re a pain, though I think I kinda like it / But I’ll go and do whatever you have to do / If it’s a mean to an end then I guess I can’t fight it.” Though the track is a soft and tender ballad, the tone is generally uplifting, and I really liked this contrast against the broken, heart-wrenching lyrics. Though there’s none of the rock-fueled energy of the opener in this track, there’s definitely something far more powerful in the music itself. The words are relatable, and I can tell that people are going to love this music if The Steadfast Son keep pushing this music out there.
“Butterflies” is an absolute banger of a pop single. It’s in this track that The Steadfast Son master their sound, and I could tell this was the single within the first five seconds of the track. It’s instantly captivating, and the uplifting, energetic, poppy chord progression along with the vocals are both crowd winners. I don’t always agree with bands’ decisions when it comes to the single for an album, but the guys definitely nailed this one. The lead guitar is not overpowering and the track retains its pop sensibilities throughout. The vocals are smooth and catchy on this song.
This release is strong as a whole, even if some of the tracks were less captivating than others. They’ve proven that they can do the soft ballads like “Okay’”but also the huge rock pieces like “New Girl” and the title track “You And I.” I look forward to seeing The Steadfast Son continue to climb the music ranks.
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