For this one, I am going to pick both a band and an artist who are essentially one and the same – the band is Porcupine Tree, and the artist is Steven Wilson. For over twenty years Steven Wilson has been the frontman for Porcupine Tree, as well as being involved in other projects such as Blackfield, No-Man, Bass Communion, and most recently Storm Corrosion. However, he has also released two amazing solo albums, and has just finished writing songs for his third solo album, due out sometime in early 2013.
Why am I picking Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson? Because their (and his) music falls into the progressive rock genre, a genre that seems to be ignored by a lot of people, for a variety of reasons. To be fair, as with any genre, there is plenty of rubbish prog rock out there, but to me Steven Wilson and all his various bands are in a league of their own – he is taking his music to new and exciting places, constantly reinventing himself while retaining that trademark sound and intelligence brimming behind the songwriting. He also has a deep understanding of the production process, which allows him to actually come close to producing music that matches his ambitious musical vision.
He has certainly become a lot more well known in recent times, however, with Porcupine Tree having been on a major label (Roadrunner) for the past decade, and with his music, both studio and live shows, constantly getting strong reviews online and in music magazines. Considering the song from one of his solo albums I am posting on this has nearly 700,000 views, I think it’s safe to say he has gained more than a cult following. But, I still do find that except for my friends who also love his (and their) music, many simply do not know who this is, and that is why I wish more people would listen to it.
I’m including two songs here, the first is a live version of one of my favourite Porcupine Tree songs, “Trains” (it’s somehow more brilliant with the broken string bit in the middle of the clip), and the second song is the video for “Harmony Korine”, which is off Steven Wilson’s first solo album. But don’t stop here, it’s worth listening to a lot more of his/their music, as it is all fantastic.
Have you heard of/listened to much music by Porcupine Tree or Steven Wilson? What are your thoughts if so?
What bands/artists do you wish more people listened to?