Time to check in with SPT a.k.a. Stephen Paul Taylor. When we last saw him, he was featured in episode 3 of Busker Diaries, a cool Berlin-based group that makes documentaries of street performers. Since then, he’s been readying his EP, Single and Seventeen. It begins with “Everyone Knows Shit’s F*cked,” an in-your-face diatribe aimed squarely at the U.S. government and undoubtedly his claim to fame, but my favorite from the 5-track collection is “Graveyard Eyes,” which is at once hilarious and endearing, a cleverly written ode to a lost love, bursting with morose metaphors.
SPT’s style is camp but catchy with unexpectedly sophisticated lyrics that saves this from being a mere synth-pop novelty act. Visually as well as aurally, Taylor is compelling, drawing audiences to him and putting them firmly in his camp. He may well be a “love him or hate him” kind of artist, but aren’t those the ones who stir things up and get people thinking? His tagline is “Synthpop for the Masses,” and indeed, his flamboyant stage show and histrionics may be what reels them in, but his message, especially on a song like “Shit’s F*cked,” is politically relevant and confrontational, meant to elicit a reaction. And that’s what makes SPT truly interesting.
Single and Seventeen was released on August 1st and was commemorated by an EP Release Party in Berlin. He has shows in Berlin, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands throughout the summer. See his full schedule for more information.
Single and Seventeen – track listing
Everybody Knows Shit’s F*cked
Life is Life
Single and Seventeen