Music

Tedo Stone Concocts Glammy Pop Earworms on 'Same Old Kid'

Photo: Courtesy of the artist via Bandcamp

Tedo Stone's Same Old Kid finds him crafting catchy indie pop that's nostalgic without losing a sense of the present.

Same Old Kid
Tedo Stone

Independent

10 July 2020

For the last eight years or so, Tedo Stone has been creating a presence in a strong and vibrant Athens, Georgia music scene. It's been a prolific near-decade that's witnessed Stone releasing 2012's Happy EP, 2013's Good Go Bad, 2015's Marshes, and 2018's Summer Sun to increasing acclaim as Stone has grown as an artist.

That makes Same Old Kid Stone's fourth full-length, and it's full of the disarmingly charming, straightforward indie pop/rock that Stone's spent those years perfecting. Stone often gets compared to Marc Bolan & T. Rex, and there's certainly a cheeky, psychedelic quality to some of his work (especially on some glammy cuts you find on early albums like Good Go Bad). But to these ears, the T. Rex comparison seems most fitting -- at least these days -- when you consider how Stone seems to just settle into a song's groove. Even though Same Old Kid's longest song clocks in at only 3:33, there's never a sense that Stone rushes through his songs. Even on more uptempo numbers like "Shoot the Messenger" or "Town After Town", it just feels like the songs flow along to their logical end. These sound like the songs of an artist comfortable in his own skin.

Stone comes out of the gate in fine form with "Swann Song", which opens with distant-sounding vocals and organ before giving way to blasts of guitar and an impassioned chorus as Stone attempts to slow down the passage of time by basking in good memories with his wife. That leads nicely into the jaunty piano figure and shuffling pace of the title track as Stone sings of traveling the streets of his youth, claiming he's the same kid he's always been.

That sense of contented taking of one's stock permeates Same Old Kid, especially on the lovely "Wunderkind", which Stone wrote about watching his three toddlers discover their way through each day. Featuring Andrea Demarcus of Cicada Rhythm on background vocals, "Wunderkind" is a gorgeous showcase for where Stone finds himself now, both in life and with his music. It's apparently a good place. As he sings on the raucous, joyous closer "Town After Town", he's past the road-weary uncertainty and misadventures of earlier years: "We don't think about it now ... I hope this safety line will hold".

Stone says of Same Old Kid, "I found myself feeling super nostalgic after having kids. After having time to digest it, I realized that theme ran through all the songs that would end up being Same Old Kid". Even without that backstory, you can sense the maturity in these songs, especially if you're familiar with earlier albums where Stone might have been struggling to lock down what he wanted his sound to be. This is easily Stone's most cohesive record to date, both in terms of sound (courtesy of great, sympathetic production by Matt Martin, Drew Vandenberg, and co-writer Drew Beskin) and subject matter. Not to mention how well Stone and his bandmates (Beskin, Jeremy Wheatley, and Philip Brantley) gel to create a consistent vibe whether they're providing an acoustic ballad or a riff-heavy guitar storm.

Same Old Kid is an album steeped in nostalgia, sure, but it's not the nostalgia of someone pining for better times. Same Old Kid carries the feathery weight of the kind of nostalgia you feel when you like where you are when those memories are well-laid bricks in the foundation of what you've built.

7


Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Music

Great Peacock Stares Down Mortality With "High Wind" (premiere + interview)

Southern rock's Great Peacock offer up a tune that vocalist Andrew Nelson says encompasses their upcoming LP's themes. "You are going to die one day. You can't stop the negative things life throws at you from happening. But, you can make the most of it."

Music

The 80 Best Albums of 2015

Travel back five years ago when the release calendar was rife with stellar albums. 2015 offered such an embarrassment of musical riches, that we selected 80 albums as best of the year.

Film

Buridan's Ass and the Problem of Free Will in John Sturges' 'The Great Escape'

Escape in John Sturge's The Great Escape is a tactical mission, a way to remain in the war despite having been taken out of it. Free Will is complicated.

Books

The Redemption of Elton John's 'Blue Moves'

Once reviled as bloated and pretentious, Elton John's 1976 album Blue Moves, is one of his masterpieces, argues author Matthew Restall in the latest installment of the 33 1/3 series.

Music

Whitney Take a Master Class on 'Candid'

Although covers albums are usually signs of trouble, Whitney's Candid is a surprisingly inspired release, with a song selection that's eclectic and often obscure.

Music

King Buzzo Continues His Reign with 'Gift of Sacrifice'

King Buzzo's collaboration with Mr. Bungle/Fantômas bassist Trevor Dunn expands the sound of Buzz Osborne's solo oeuvre on Gift of Sacrifice.

Music

Jim O'Rourke's Experimental 'Shutting Down Here' Is Big on Technique

Jim O'Rourke's Shutting Down Here is a fine piece of experimental music with a sure hand leading the way. But it's not pushing this music forward with the same propensity as Luc Ferrari or Derek Bailey.

Music

Laraaji Returns to His First Instrument for 'Sun Piano'

The ability to help the listener achieve a certain elevation is something Laraaji can do, at least to some degree, no matter the instrument.

Music

Kristin Hersh Discusses Her Gutsy New Throwing Muses Album

Kristin Hersh thinks influences are a crutch, and chops are a barrier between artists and their truest expressions. We talk about life, music, the pandemic, dissociation, and the energy that courses not from her but through her when she's at her best.

Music

The 10 Best Fleetwood Mac Solo Albums

Fleetwood Mac are the rare group that feature both a fine discography and a successful series of solo LPs from their many members. Here are ten examples of the latter.

Music

Jamila Woods' "SULA (Paperback)" and Creative Ancestry and Self-Love in the Age of "List" Activism

In Jamila Woods' latest single "SULA (Paperback)", Toni Morrison and her 1973 novel of the same name are not static literary phenomena. They are an artist and artwork as galvanizing and alive as Woods herself.

Film

The Erotic Disruption of the Self in Paul Schrader's 'The Comfort of Strangers'

Paul Schrader's The Comfort of Strangers presents the discomfiting encounter with another —someone like you—and yet entirely unlike you, mysterious to you, unknown and unknowable.

Music

'Can You Spell Urusei Yatsura' Is a Much Needed Burst of Hopefulness in a Desultory Summer

A new compilation online pulls together a generous helping of B-side action from a band deserving of remembrance, Scotland's Urusei Yatsura.

Music

Jess Cornelius Creates Tautly Constructed Snapshots of Life

Former Teeth & Tongue singer-songwriter Jess Cornelius' Distance is an enrapturing collection of punchy garage-rock, delicate folk, and arty synthpop anthems which examine liminal spaces between us.

Books

Sikoryak's 'Constitution Illustrated' Pays Homage to Comics and the Constitution

R. Sikoryak's satirical pairings of comics characters with famous and infamous American historical figures breathes new and sometimes uncomfortable life into the United States' most living document.

Music

South African Folk Master Vusi Mahlasela Honors Home on 'Shebeen Queen'

South African folk master Vusi Mahlasela pays tribute to his home and family with township music on live album, Shebeen Queen.

Music

Planningtorock Is Queering Sound, Challenging Binaries, and Making Infectious Dance Music

Planningtorock emphasizes "queering sound and vision". The music industry has its hierarchies of style, of equipment, of identities. For Jam Rostron, queering music means taking those conventions and deliberately manipulating and subverting them.

Music

'History Gets Ahead of the Story' for Jazz's Cosgrove, Medeski, and Lederer

Jazz drummer Jeff Cosgrove leads brilliant organ player John Medeski and multi-reed master Jeff Lederer through a revelatory recording of songs by William Parker and some just-as-good originals.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.