Stutter Steps at Innocent Words

Everything around us is chaos, panic, and impending disaster. But Ben Harrison is keeping it cool. The debut self-titled album from his band, Stutter Steps doesn’t spit in the face of death—it gives death a warm hug and invites it inside for a game of Scrabble. Ten songs of sadness and bliss, Stutter Steps is a glorious, vital addition to the indie pop canon.

Most Americans imagine Pittsburgh as some kind of rusted out steel factory, but it’s actually one of the more beautiful cities in the country, a stunning blend of rivers and hills dropped in the middle of the Allegheny Mountains. If Stutter Steps sounds like it emerged fully formed from its natural surroundings, that’s because it did. Recorded over a few days at a lodge in the Laurel Highlands, you can hear the mist and the mystical all over the record.

By day, Harrison works at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, where he spends his days curating and dreaming. Given access to the complete collection of Warhol’s famous Screen Tests, approximately 500 silent film portraits he made of people who came to his studio, Harrison began inviting his favorite musicians to provide a soundtrack. Two of them, Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna—and who contributes slide guitar to “The Fog”) and Britta Phillips (Luna), became so enmeshed in the project that they created 13 Most Beautiful, a multi-media project which they, along with Harrison, have performed all over the world. Drowned In Sound called it “one of the most exhilarating audio visual creations conjured up in many a year.”

Harrison took inspiration from his day job, Mr. Warhol and the members of Luna to create his debut album. Now, Innocent Words is proud to premiere the debut single “Volumes” from Harrison’s Stutter Steps.

“I suppose lyrically, I often like to try to describe elements of isolated scenes or situations, loosely inspired by scenes or cinematography from films that leave an impression on me.” Harrison said of the single. “I try to be spare, using as few words as possible to conjure some imagery to reflect those moments. With the song “Volumes,” I partly took inspiration from Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation” with scenes featuring fuzzy lights of Tokyo’s skyline as a backdrop and the characters sense of being in dreamlike, disconnected, and desperate states with waning celebrity status.”