Arranged Waves was written while Steinbrink toured as a solo performer for most of the last 12 months, composed in static intervals in Greyhounds, Toyota minivans, and European trains. Back in Olympia, he began recording these 14 songs in his home studio, inspired by the multi-media artist James Roemer, repressed memories of watching TV, the work of John Cale, early records by Pram, and the mobile songwriting communes that exist in secret throughout the western United States.
Steinbrink’s distinctive falsetto and unique fingerpicking is accompanied on record by pop soothsayers Andrew Dorsett, Eli Moore and Ashley Eriksson (LAKE), guitarist Tom Filardo (Filardo / Bouquet) and cellist Jen Grady (You Are Plural). The songs were arranged collaboratively, and later heavily edited on both computers and analog tape.
Steinbrink’s lyrical aim is a plaintive examination of relationship incomprehension, defeated logic, defeated expectations, unreliable memory and silent rooms. Album closer “Sand Mandalas” is a reconciliation of meaninglessness: “It feels impossible to think the thought / that I’m doomed to make my meaning / in the arbitrary aether”. These songs are a continued attempt to describe moments of banality in the context of a pop song without manipulation of their inherent romance. A timestamped .PNG of a dog and child playing together before a backdrop of down-shifted synth wheeze, gleaming through the 8-bit warble.