South African-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Steven Dayvid McKellar is the former lead singer and songwriter for the Rock band Civil Twilight. He’s recently released the solo EP One and Zero via Sonic Ritual that heads in a very different direction, bringing together introspective and personal observations about isolation and the “larger cultural context that the polarized socio/political environment has bred in this country”.
A weird warping of time seems to be going on and I feel the need to ‘clean house’, simplifying my life down to only things that really matter. It’s both the times we’re in and then the questions I’m asking myself. I think the intimacy comes from the desire to be more vulnerable and honest with myself and with others.
The title track tackles the “stasis and stillness of being” that the quarantine brought. He adds:
It’s a fascinating time in human history. We who are alive right now are just a tiny link in the chain for the next stage of human life. And the song is like ‘how do you sleep, knowing you’re so insignificant and yet so crucial?’ We’re so bound by our logic and routine and progress that we don’t always realize that we’re still just blobs of goo walking around, barely able to get by, having no clue how to really utilize this power.
With Civil Twilight, McKellar shared stages with Jimmy Eat World, Silversun Pickups, Smashing Pumpkins and Florence + the Machine amongst others and placed songs on One Tree Hill, House, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Now solo and focusing on “releasing music on his own terms”, he says:
I’m just happy having some new music of mine out in the world. I feel very blessed to be able to do that. I don’t really hope for things anymore. It’s not good for me.