Exclaim! - - CON­TENTS -

The Lonely Roller

Mi­ami-based Steven A. Clark isn’t the next Frank Ocean, the Weeknd nor Miguel. With The Lonely Roller, his am­bi­tions are in the ti­tle — he’s in his own lane. What that “thing” is ap­pears to be a twist on mid-’80s elec­tronic synth pop through an R&B lens. The ten-track pro­ject builds off his ear­lier self-pro­duced work (such as his Stripes mix­tape and Late EP) to ex­plore themes of de­sire, loss and love. Lead sin­gle “Can’t Have” un­folds in a gen­re­less fash­ion, with its sweep­ing strings, ur­gent elec­tro pop back­drop and soul­ful vo­cals. The ti­tle track fea­tures a hyp­notic bass line and new wave-y el­e­ments, “Trou­ble Baby” goes broadly, a haunting ex­panse over plain­tive vo­cals. “Time Ma­chine” rev­els in its rock in­flu­ences. “Young, Wild, Free” in­vites the Weeknd com­par­i­son, a driven R&B/pop num­ber, while “Not You” sparks with a headnod­ding fear­less­ness. With The Lonely Roller, Steven A. Clark of­fers an in­trigu­ing and sure to be talked about de­but. (Se­cretly Cana­dian,­cret­ly­cana­ RYAN B. PA­TRICK

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