There’s indie music and then there’s indie music, a genre in which artists not only forgo major label support, but convention as well. All This Could Kill You, the latest release from husband-and-wife duo Ben and Vesper Stamper falls uniquely under the latter.
Married life, report cards and paying the bills account for just a few of the all-too-ordinary topics motivating their lyrics. This is the music of the mundane, the routine, the everyday. And it is in these things that Ben Stamper hopes listeners will find validation and strength.
“We want listeners to have the feeling that this music is not trying to be above them, but rather alongside them,” Stamper says. “We want these to be folk songs. We want them to be music for the people.”
While listeners ought to find a measure of empathy in the lyrical renderings of the “same-old, same-old,” the music’s accessibility may not be something they are used to. Augmenting Ben’s baritone vocals and Vesper’s willowy whisper are guest spots by Daniel Smith and avant-gardesman Sufjan Stevens on an array of instrumentation that includes the oboe and banjo. The end product is a unique creature all its own, crawling out of the mainstream, wiping its feet on the front mat, slipping into a soda-stained bathrobe and stealing the remote control.
Those willing to embrace the abstract ought to find plenty of solace in the B + V norm. For the rest, this artistic “everyday” may be an acquired taste.