Born in the mid-nineties, Stephen Curtis Shutters grew up under the influence of Nintendo, VHS tapes, Star Wars, purple ketchup, and music from artists such as DC Talk, Everyday Sunday, and Relient K. Stephen Shutters is a contemplative lyricist and a singer whose voice sounds both sandpapery and tentative. The images his songs present and the emotions they evoke are phenomenal, considering the musical backing is minimal and acoustic. The lo-fi “Couple More Days” is a prime example of Stephen’s craft. His lyrics often reflect on everyday life and the small, mundane factors that mean something in love, turning them into soul-bearing and affliction exorcising mantras.

Stephen Curtis Shutters
Stephen Curtis Shutters

“Couple More Days” is the first Stephen Shutters track I’ve heard. I was amazed that anyone could simply sing: “Hold on tight, take hold of peace, Wear a smile while you wait for me, I’m coming home, just let me grab my keys , I’ll drive all night while you wait for me, And though right now you cannot hold my hand , Don’t let go of me in your head, Keep that joy pinned up to your face ,’Cause you’ll see mine in just a couple more days”  and make it not only work beautifully, but seem like the most pertinent metaphor for anticipation, desire and hope.

It’s hard to figure how Stephen Shutters works his particular magic, with such a minimal arrangement in support of his voice. I guess it’s the humanity that shines through and the determination and undaunted spirit evinced in lyrics like, Love, I know  It’s hard to see , But winter’s cold Gives way for spring , Don’t lose hope , Don’t lose hope .” Beautiful, deep and penetrating lyrics set to a gorgeous Ukelele strum. Essential.

All performing technicalities and production qualities set side, great music should touch you on a level that can make you examine who you are, and how you have become who you are, Stephen Shutters’ music will never fail to make you reflect upon yourself, the people around you, and the things that have happened to you.

“Couple More Days” is almost impossibly moving and poignant, allowing for total identification with the narrator. Full of imagery, symbolism and emotion, you feel as if Stephen Shutters is personally telling you a heartfelt story.   I’m struck by how perfectly this young artist encapsulates the eagerness and fear within relationships.

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