Songs About A Sick Boy (LOV059)
1. Passwords To A Fort Full Of Pills
2. Stars Still Save Me
3. Winter For Our Discontent
4. Going For The Gold
5. Edie And Willis
6. So This Is Dying
7. I Love Sweden
8. Night Nurse Calls
9. Dec 7th 2003
10. The Answer Lies In Drinking
Stephen Howard has, in recent year, cut his teeth as a team player offering up his considerable talents playing bass with Denali, Ambulette, and on baritone guitar as a member of the self-proclaimed slowest band in Chicago, Pinebender. Truth be told though, Howard might not be as fitting to the sideman role as he has lead himself and other to believe.
So with the completion of Quieting Syrup, Howard steps out of the shadows with a solo record that is as harrowing, as it is beautiful. A total of 12 songs written over a period of 12 years, focusing almost exclusively on his health battles and subsequent emotional fall out, following the ebb-and-flow cycles of affection, addiction, and ailment. A collection of love songs put to paper during Howard's continued recovery after a life-long struggle various illness. The record is filled to the brim with a quiet desperation, written from Howard's hospital bed but reflectively sung from his thrift store couch.
That's not to say that Quieting Syrup is entirely doomed, rather Howard's hopeful voice is one of defiance and faith. The songs offer an innocence and buoyancy, filled with the heartbroken confidence of a man who has just let go, sweetly singing himself to sleep in order to face the day again tomorrow.