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The New Song From "Musician's Musician" Delicate Steve is a Love Letter to the Sound of the Strat

Delicate Steve
(Image credit: Delicate Steve)

As a musician who admits, “I’ve spent most of my life trying to escape the sound of the electric guitar,” the new single from multi-instrumentalist Delicate Steve may come as a surprise.

Nevertheless, his forthcoming album – After Hours (opens in new tab) – promises to finally reconcile his love for the instrument.

“I’ve tried everything under the sun to get away from it,” he tells us. “Until now.”

Indeed, the new single from After Hours – “Looking Glass” – proclaims an outright affinity with the Fender Stratocaster

Eloquent and defined, this articulate instrumental speaks volumes while translating into sound those expressions that so often fall short with words.

Led by infectious Strat phrases and brimming with effortless swagger it’s clear this guitarist really has found his voice, where a coherent stream of licks flows as a series of short, memorable statements against a churning backdrop of bass, drums, percussion and Wurlitzer.

Accompanying the single is a surreal music video in which the artist, accompanied by his Stratocaster, traverses a bleak city nightscape. 

Along the way he runs into a succession of hard-faced characters before discovering a mysterious glass orb.

But what's it all about?

“This song is about looking back at what it was like to be young and free and in a band with your friends, traveling around and playing music without care, meeting people, seeing the world,” explains Steve.

“The song – the chords and music – just poured out of me without much effort in the studio, but the melody took a while and it was very hard to find what the song was trying to say. 

"But I knew I had it when all of the notes were in the right places, and the song's title came at that exact same time.”

Delicate Steve

(Image credit: Eleanor Petry/Anti- )

It has been said there’s a song in every guitar. And Delicate Steve’s highly anticipated new album After Hours was written and tracked using a 1966 Fender Stratocaster – the very same electric guitar that rekindled his relationship with the instrument.

This inspired collection of guitar-centric tracks is touted as an LP that “revels in the simple joys of plugging in and playing.” 

So if this two-and-a-half-minutes-long taster has left you wanting more, you won’t have to wait very long; After Hours is out on July 8 via Anti-.

Delicate Steve 'After Hours' album artwork

(Image credit: Anti-)

Pre-order After Hours by Delicate Steve here (opens in new tab).

Rod Brakes is a music writer with an expertise in all things guitar-related. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a journalist covering artists, industry pros and gear includes writing hundreds of articles and features for the likes of Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar, as well as contributions for specialist books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.