Album Review: Steve Mason – ‘Boys Outside’ (Double Six)

The mask is off, but Mason's emotional wounds are still present

When we last heard from Beta Band survivor Steve Mason, he was angrily venting about a failed relationship, amid the icy electro-pop of Black Affair’s lone album. Before that, he traded as King Biscuit Time. For this new offering he’s abandoned disguises, but his emotional wounds still weep: “I wake up every morning with a new-broke heart”, he sings during ‘Let It In’. Nonetheless, Mason seems to be emerging from a dark period. Certainly, his songwriting has regained its trademark warmth and tenderness. This album offers an elegant blend of trilling piano, strummed guitar and crisp digital beats, but it’s dominated by Mason’s voice, and his monastic chants prove as soothing and stirring as when they wafted across The Beta Band’s deathless debut ‘Dry The Rain’.

Niall O’Keeffe

Click here to get your copy of Steve Mason’s ‘Boys Outside’ from the Rough Trade shop