Backsteps is an eclectic musical collective comprised of lead singer and saxophonist David Morris, guitarist and lead producer David Schwarz, drummer and vocalist Noah Patton, bassist Kevin Judd and pianist Isaac Monheit. The young and up and coming group has just released their debut album titled “Fantasy Junction”. The 13-track album will make you dance, laugh and sing along to a diverse range of genres. Backsteps play with a wide range of styles such as alternative, indie, rock, jazz, and funk. They promise that there is something on their album for everyone to enjoy!
The first song on the album is the addicting and catchy hit “Sameolesong”. The composition of multi-layered sounds has me blown away instantly. David's strong vocals complement with the mellow and groovy sound perfectly. The upbeat arrangement has me tapping my feet while we’re introduced to the explosive sounds of Backsteps.
“Fine By Me” is the second song on the same-titled EP. It’s an intoxicating piece but still keeps up with the vibrant psychedelic sound that Backsteps is known for. “Fine by Me” features a surprising and experimental rap verse but we’re loving for me. We love when artists bring new creative elements to the table and execute it perfectly. As the album “Fantasy Junctions” transitions, we’re blessed with a completely different vibe in “Malibu Mission”. This track takes the listener on a light-hearted journey and is heavily laden with saxophone brilliance and fun-loving xylophone melodies. With no vocals needed to have us dancing and jamming alone, “Malibu Mission” is a song that will surely cheer up any listener.
“Dance a While” is an easy listening indie-rock song that makes you want to do exactly what the title insists. The lyricism is emotive and the vocals are hypnotic. I enjoy the orchestral aesthetics in this composition, it’s chilling and transcendent and overall, beautiful. As the album “Fantasy Junction” transitions into the next track, “Freeable” we get a taste of groovy transitions and jazzy soundscape. The song explodes into a soulful blues track and we can’t get enough. Sultry energy all the way through, Backsteps showcases their undeniable skill-set. I love the precise keys and the bouncing, melodies tunes. Next on the album is “Help Me”, a retro track that moves through infectious melodies and intricate riffs. Backsteps fuse R&B, neo-soul, and an old school Chicago blues sound to create musical chaos. With more of a storytelling element, Backsteps deliver powerful and quirky rhythms. They lay down some tight grooves to move into “They Don’t”. The power saxophone takes us through an alluring soundscape once again. Backsteps keep their listeners and fans hooked and dancing along from start to finish.
“Jewel has a dark and melancholic intro that explodes into an upbeat and jazzy dance tune. The chemistry that the Backsteps exude is admirable and galvanizing to the music industry today. The track is a true “Jewel” within the album. “We Grow” is a slow tempo ballad with heart-wrenching lyrics. I can hear the raw emotion in the vocals and the passion that went into curated this song. The next track “Oasis” features perfect timing and tempo, everything is flawless and finely-calibrated while the sultry change in tone is a refreshing new twist to an impressive album. Still keeping things jazzy and contemporary, Backsteps always adds their flare to keep up with their psychedelic aesthetic. Next up is “Point Of Being Pt. 1”, the alluring riffs at the beginning of the track are the perfect intro to a timeless classic. The song gives us a retrospective look at the inner thoughts and feelings of Backsteps’ outlook on the meaning of life. Dedication to craft in the detail is admirable while the infectious and vivid music fused together is awakening. “Point Of Being Pt. 2” brings us a spectacular intro and moves into more inner contemplation and personal emotion. It dives into electronic and psychedelic sounds and allows the listener to escape into the music. “They Do!” is the concluding track to a finely-calibrated project. This song is a jazzy composition with rhythmic textures, layered instrumentals, and an energetic and contagious finale.
“Fantasy Junction” is a diverse debut album and an incredible launch for Backsteps musical career. We love the experimental and refreshing twist on contemporary music through the use of jazz, blues, and soulful elements. Equipped with an ear for excellence and the ambition to excel in the game, Backsteps are the ones to watch!
Listen to “Fantasy Junction” here and get to know more about Backsteps below!
Welcome and congratulations on the release of “Fantasy Junction”!! What would you say is the overall theme of this album?
Placing one theme on the album is very hard because of how wide it spans in genres but we’d say the themes are love, fantasy, city-life, nostalgia, and existentialism. We wanted to bring the joy of the 60s into the psych-rock of the 70s mixed with the synth of the 80s all with a jazz template and of course, make it all applicable to our generation. There’s a song in there for everyone!
What are your personal favorite tracks on the album? Why?
Our favorites are Dance a While because it's a feel-good summer song, Help Me because it really shows who we are as people and how we can have fun with making music, and Malibu Mission because it was the first song I wrote for the album. I wrote it sitting in the back of an acting class, where at that moment I realized I wanted to do something bigger, something real. I was tired of personifying characters that were already made when I still felt I hadn’t found my own. I can now say our characters have all been found in this album.
In the tracks “Point Of Being Pt. 1&2”, the lyricism feels really personal, can you shed more light on the meaning behind the lyrics?
The Point of being tracks are the only ones where the narrative is actually coming from us. For all the others we came up with stories and characters for each one instead of writing things about ourselves. Point of Being Pt. 1 is all about struggling to obtain the reason for existence while balancing judgment and ignorance. The lyrics in Pt. 2 speak on having found what we believe is the point of being. One needs to, as I wrote, “seize [their] space” and own what they desire. That is accentuated by the instrumentation behind it which makes us feel speechless and afloat in life’s mystery.
Let’s talk about the writing process for the album “Fantasy Junction”! It must feel amazing to have it released. Can you talk about some challenges you faced while creating it?
Our time was limited seeing as our bassist was going on a national tour with his primary band Ultra Q and our guitarist/co-producer was leaving around the same time so that left us with only about a month to make and finish the entire album. This was a challenge for us because we’re the kinda cats that usually go out during the summer day but we spent every day working until we needed to sleep. Overall this was a great experience for our first album because it showed us how to do it in only a month so now we know how much we’ll be able to accomplish next time.
What’s next for Backsteps?
A never-ending act of new genres with no jurisdiction.
Connect with Backsteps on social media