On the radar: Delicate Steve

If the true art of guitar playing is transmitting your soul through six-strings and an amp then New Jersey-raised multi-instrumentalist Delicate Steve is a master.

Sam Cooke’s phrasing, that is my sh*t and that’s how I like to form guitar solos, over a vamp

The US indie wunderkind has put time in with the likes of Yeasayer, Dirty Projectors and Mac DeMarco, but his solo work is untapped, hugely expressive and bizarrely beautiful.

Vocal solo

“I love singers - I’m a singer I think, but my voice is my fingers on my guitar,” Steve tells us. “Sam Cooke’s phrasing, that is my shit and that’s how I like to form guitar solos, over a vamp. Nina Simone’s who I am thinking about when I want to add vibrato.”

Steve generates his “cartoon music rainbow tone” with a custom guitar built by his friend Jeremy Carter and a Morgan AC20 Deluxe. “It needs to sound full and not guitar-y - larger than life,” says Steve. Mission accomplished.

  • For fans of: Yeasayer, Dirty Projectors
  • Hear: This Is Steve
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