After nearly thirty years holding reign in the court of the music industry singer-songwriter Steven Wilson’s new album To The Bone has finally earnt him his crown. Expected to go straight to number one Wilson may be one of the most successful musicians no one has ever heard of. In his own words Wilson has put this down to not being a part of the mainstream world of music but with new singles like ‘Permanating’ he is making his mark.
Listen to ‘Permanating’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4LfUDV1x5s
Born November 3rd 1967, Wilson is an English musician and record producer that has unofficially become the face of the progressive rock genre. Wilson’s interest in music, like most, was influenced by his parents, recalling one Christmas when they exchanged albums like Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon and Donna Summer’s Love to Love You Baby. Wilson describes music as being in his blood and takes influence from these bands as well as ABBA and The Carpenters. As a child Wilson was forced to play guitar and inevitably ended up hating it until he discovered a nylon string classical guitar in his parents’ attic. Experimenting with this lead to his father – who was an electronic engineer – building him a multi-track tape machine so Wilson could really begin exploring himself as a musician.
This experimentation led to Wilson founding the band Porcupine Tree where he was the singer, lead guitarist and songwriter. Before this Wilson also worked in a number of other bands such as Opeth, Tears for Fears and Anathema, to name a few. Initially launched as a project titled “Porcupine Tree”, the idea was originally intended to focus on psychedelic rock before developing through phases of rock, modern guitar, progressive rock and heavy metal. By the middle of the 2000s Porcupine Tree was a well-known rock band on labels like Atlantic and Roadrunner. Alongside the band’s success Wilson had become a producer that has since been cited as an influence for various aspiring musicians.
In 2008 Wilson broke from Porcupine Tree to try his hand as a solo artist. His first solo album Insurgents was released in November of the same year and was recorded in various places across the world. It was released as a double CD, DVD and a 4 x 10 inch vinyl version before becoming a full length feature film by Lasse Hoile that was based on the recording of the album. From here Wilson’s success as a solo artist only increased with following albums Grace for Drowning, The Raven That Refused to Sing, Hand. Cannot. Erase.; each new album gaining more traction and earning him the title of “The King of Prog Rock.” However even with this title Wilson has remained relatively unknown and is only now joining the mainstream world of music with his new album To The Bone. Using his music to explore his views on his own beliefs such as being a strong critic on organised religion through the use of characters and stories in this album. An out of this era/psychedelic/soft rock album that is sure to make Steven Wilson’s name one to remember.
Review by Skye W.Winwood