Slowing down is harder than it looks

Stefan West. (Ivan Kemp) 402847_01

Matt Hewson

For local indie musician Stefan West, it’s all about timing.

Many artists struggle with procrastination, or a lack of motivation or momentum stemming from self-doubt, causing projects to flounder and stall.

On the other hand, rushing things to completion before they have had time to properly develop has its own downsides.

It’s a dilemma West, who has been playing in bands since age 14 and is currently plotting out the timeline for his upcoming debut solo album Cambridge, knows well.

“To be honest, I was going to have dropped it already, but… it seemed a little bit silly to drop the 16 songs now without the type of audience I would want,” he said.

“With the way that everything is online now, and the beautiful gift that it is to be able to find your audience, I’ve decided to take a step back and release, from the end of July, a single a month for seven months, and then drop the full album at the end of that.

“So I’m just taking the time to get that little bit ahead, and then invite all the people in that might like the type of music I have recorded. So it’s looking like it will probably be the start of next year now.”

West has already released three singles for Cambridge, which features collaborations with a plethora of musicians ranging from his trumpet-playing father to guitarist/singer Aaron Schembri (Ross Wilson, Renee Geyer, Ross Hannaford).

His latest track is Slow Down World, a fusion of indie, punk and folk sounds that came out in March.

The song serves as a great example of the personal journey the album documents.

“Slow Down World is about when self help goes too far,” he said.

“It’s about trying absolutely everything that you hear might make you feel better, but you still feel stuck.”

Despite him asking nicely, the world doesn’t seem to be slowing down for West; he gigs three to five times a week, mostly in Geelong and Melbourne, while continuing to write songs and prepare for the release of Cambridge.

“It’s hectic, getting all this stuff organised; it’s crazy, but it’s fun too,” he said.

“I used to laugh at Schembri… it took him four years to release his first album and I used to laugh and go, ‘what have you been doing for four years?’ I get it now.”