New Haven, CT based artist Stefan Christensen’s work is known for its contemplative and melancholic mood; always filtered through a home-recorded, DIY dirge that hits a wide range of sounds; from gentle acoustic work and long form drone, to wiry post punk songwriting, freakout psychedelia and beyond.
In 2007, after years of playing in hardcore and punk outfits, Christensen formed his best known act, avant-punk quartet Estrogen Highs. The band released numerous full lengths and EP’s, and toured extensively before parting in 2015. Christensen himself moved swiftly into solo work at that time and has since been releasing a steady stream of music, as well as touring in the US and Europe. As a solo artist Christensen incorporates a 4-track home-recording style, somber tone and skirts the line between song and noise, often blurring said line. A collage of textures and tones land his work somewhere in the realm of the much heralded Xpressesway, Siltbreeze and Twisted Village labels. Christensen released tapes and EP’s on such esteemed labels as Night People, ever/never and I Dischi Del Barone before releasing his 2017 Shake Off The Village full length, which received widespread acclaim. It was followed by 2018’s City Code on Belgium’s Knotwilg label, with more records looming just around the corner.
Christensen is also a frequent collaborator in the fertile New Haven free rock underground. He plays guitar for psych heavyweights Headroom (Trouble In Mind Records), as well as recently becoming a full-time member of long-running free improv guitar group Nagual. He also runs C/Site Recordings, a label that serves not only to release music from his New Haven cohort but the world at large.
"Like a one-legged Crazy Horse sort of walking on the Xpressway towards the Twisted Village and stopping by Columbus, Ohio for a minute... ranging from Galbraithian over-before-it-began cassette-folk to V-3 like smutty, downer rock, accidently scratching a few Precious Metal lathe cuts in-between. Christensen manoeuvres the 4-track recorder like there is no tomorrow, mixing down dirge but at the same time oddly uplifting and smashing songs that are just as immediate as they are life-affirming somewhere in all their distorted and tape-saturated gloom."
-I Dischi Del Barone
“Shake Off The Village is in no way an 'easy' listen but the ebbs-and-flows and nimble guitar playing result in an ultimately rewarding experience.”
“Christensen’s delivery sounds almost desperately insistent, as if through repetition and willpower he’ll enact the chorus’ alchemical transformation. It also suggests a sense of simmering frustration, imminent collapse. [It] suggests an array of influences, including the homespun and punk-adjacent undergrounds of 1970s Midwest and 1980s New Zealand, though it surges into the present nonetheless.”
2017 Artist Of The Year