In the moody-lit, intimate basement of Dalston’s Servant Jazz Quarters, Mirror Signal (also known as Steven Barker) launched his much-anticipated second EP Herculean Task.
Mirror Signal tantalised the audience throughout with a mixture of soulful tones and droning synths, and his envious ability to compile genre-twisting songs featuring acoustic guitar, electronica and base. The song ‘One Day’, from which the EP gets its title, harks back to Massive Attack et al, using a simple electric drum and keyboard backing beat, enhanced with base and Barker’s beautifully soothing vocals: ’blinded by the light that’s meant to guide you’ and ‘like a dandelion disintegrates in the breeze’.
The ending of this electro-soul performance was a treat for a reverential audience, as Barker and his band turned this soft-flowing indie record into an old-skool dance track; helped by the addition of synths and sounds reminiscent of those vintage dance tracks of the 90s.
‘All Along’ is an articulate track from the EP, that you would have heard if you’ve tuned into mainstream radio stations; Radio 1’s Huw Stephens has been a champion of Barker’s lush atmospherics. It’s a song to play relentlessly, for the die-hard fans to the general listeners, and there’s never time to tire of the main man’s soothing harmonic tones.
‘After this, Herculean Task’ showcases Mirror Signal’s great voice and ability to mix jazz, soul, pop and a unique indie touch in an way I’ve not experienced before. If he continues to honing his skill and dominate this genre of his own design, he’s surely an artist to keep a long lens focused on.