J. Steinfort is a singer-songwriter from Melbourne, Australia. He lovingly crafts alternative folk-country songs from the tiny home studio in his backyard.
A mostly self-taught musician and multi-instrumentalist, he has a love of lo-fi recordings combined with an obsessive streak that creates a beautifully polished yet evocatively raw sound.
“You are going to be fine” is the debut LP from J. Steinfort, a singer-songwriter from Melbourne, Australia. (Release date: August 26, 2022)
An Alternative Folk offering with more than a tinge of Americana. It’s honest personal storytelling and unadorned lyrics can be traced to influences like Gillian Welch, Sufjan Stevens and Elliott Smith, with occasionally beefed up instrumentation that will appeal to fans of Ryan Adams, Iron & Wine, or Bon Iver.
Jesse had been writing songs on and off over the years, while working his day-job in advertising and raising a young family. Eventually he started recording iphone sketches and sending them to a guitarist friend (Karsten Jurkschat) living in NYC, who would tinker and send them back. When the lockdowns started happening around the world in 2020, J. found himself with more time for music and quickly brought together the bones of the album.
Recording and engineering most of the tracks from his tiny home studio, he added arrangements, guitar and keyboard parts from Karsten on the other side of the world and enlisted the help of other long suffering friends to help bring more colour and dynamics to the preliminary recordings. Dave Moore adds a dark and moody pedal steel to the slow burn “Out of My Mind”, while Max Abrams and Steve Patrick bring their Nashville Brass flavour to the soul inspired “Where I’ve been”. Then glued together with the help of mixer Adam Selzer in Portland, OR (M. Ward, Decemberists) and mastered by Jon Neufeld.
Opening with the sound of the wind and waves of Mentone Beach ,the album title and title track, “You are going to be fine” was a personal mantra for the bottom of an emotional downswing and the understanding that this too shall pass.
Unassuming personal stories are lyrically connected with broader shared experiences in a striking balance of intimacy and relatability. The uptempo ‘How I Paid for my First Guitar’, complete with rolling banjo, reflects on the inexperience of youth and lessons learned the hard way through the lens of an irresponsible instrument purchase. Garage rock inspired “Daisy” considers childhood naivety and the loss of a beloved family dog. Haunting “Fight or Flight” was initially penned in the aftermath of the “Black Saturday” fires around Melbourne but in subsequent years has only seemed to gather more relevance.
The album wraps with the melodic feedback of ‘Feels like Forever’. Specifically documenting the isolation of lockdown, but more broadly ponders the difference between time as it is experienced or as it is remembered.
Overall the record maintains a fresh yet familiar feeling and a hopeful thread from start to finish, so through its emotional ups and downs you know that ultimately you are going to be fine.