A NoHo Arts music review of Unfortunately Steven’s “Groovy Avocado Disco” album.
Unfortunately Steven is an L.A.-based experimental singer-songwriter, and his new record “Groovy Avocado Disco” is an epic 20-track opus. Although some of these tracks are not songs, they are recordings of Steven’s actual therapy sessions, during the last four years or so, while the songs for the album were being written. The album is actually laid out in a very specific order, so the listener walks with him through his introspection, his healing and his musical self exploration.
It’s an amazing concept for a record and absolutely mesmerizing. Listening in on his actual therapy sessions, laying himself bare, talking about what motivates him and what un-motivates him, and how he is coping with his anxiety, depression and his recovery from a breakdown, and the laughter all that chaos conjures up in him. Then, following that up with a track about that actual moment in his life, his vulnerability and his beautiful candor create such an incredible atmosphere of mutual exploration. As if his therapy is yours too…and don’t we all need therapy? ‘Yes’ would be the correct and only answer to that.
Each song is another revelation. It’s not earth shattering exactly, it’s just profoundly honest and endearingly funny and absolutely brilliantly, gorgeously produced music. Unfortunately Steven is, fortunately for us, a truly gifted songwriter and wonderful performer. The songs are broadly speaking indie rock with more than a dash of musical theatre. Think Elton John meets Nirvana meets Jesus Christ Superstar. He has surrounded himself with some truly excellent musicians too, clever him.
Unfortunately Steven’s “Groovy Avocado Disco” is an acronym for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. May being Mental Health Month, it’s being released on multiple platforms May 6.
Unfortunately Steven has created something so special with this album. Sadness, acceptance, release, truth and a deeply fabulous sense of humour. It’s an unmissable record, an utterly brilliant piece of art and I absolutely love it!!!! God I hope he performs these songs live in L.A. very soon.
Steven Ramirez- Lead Vocals, Piano,Keyboards, Guitar and Depression
Harry Waters- Piano on Life’s too Expensive,Tom Hanks,Cosmic and My Nothing
Ryan Jarvis – Guitars
Mark Pacificar- Bass
Doug Wayne- Organ
JD Carrera- Lap Steel, *Guitar solo ‘Help Me Randall’
Shawn Grindle- baritone bass
Leana Courtney- accordion, bass and piano
George Chammas- *Guitar solo on ‘Strawberries and Rain’
Katin Burns- Drums and Percussion
Joesph Quintana-Drums and Percussion
Cristina Black- Harp
Gina Romantini- Violin
Rondrequel McCloud- BGV, solo ‘Peace of Shit’
Sophie Rae- BGV
Jake Novak- Vocal Arranger, BGV
Caitlin Beale- BGV
Peter Gutierrez- Trumpet
Zach Reed- Saxophone
Ryan Kiernan- Trombone
Producer: Ryan Jarvis