Track Of The Day #542: Stephen Jones - 'A Beautiful War'

Track Of The Day #542: Stephen Jones – ‘A Beautiful War’

That former Babybird man and ridiculously overlooked cult hero Stephen Jones has released an album. If any of you are familiar with his work as Black Reindeer, you’ll be used to Jones releasing albums, pretty much all the time. In the last year and a bit he’s released at least twelve largely instrumental LPs under his Black Reindeer alias, all of which were available via his Bandcamp page. But this particular Stephen Jones release is quite special, as it’s the first “proper” solo album since he brought Babybird to an end. The completely self-written, self-performed, self-recorded, self-produced and self-released ‘Ambition Expired’ is available digitally for just £7.99, and if he sells enough copies we may hopefully see a physical release at some point! I’m hoping for that to happen, since I want to add this incredible album to my CD or vinyl collection, next to his previous solo album, 2003’s ‘Almost Cured Of Sadness’ Have a listen to the stunning ‘A Beautiful War’ and support an incredible and sorely underrated talent…

Complete with a pulchritudinous self-made video, it’s an enchanting mesmeric space-age lullaby that basks in a dazzling ambience, marrying his sweetly tuneful vocal melodies of old with a more spacious musical presentation, letting the song evolve slowly and naturally for maximum impact. 

Despite selling over two million records worldwide, Jones has never compromised the intelligence of his music for the mainstream, and has a deep hatred of mass marketed insipidness. With his talent for the unusal, why would he want to conform to sounding like everyone else? We need people like Jones, who make this world a more interesting place by challenging the norm and going against the grain. And as long as he continues to battle against the blandness peddled by mainstream culture, this beautiful war will indeed continue to produce more effortless and truly unique magic.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.