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Youngest Son is the songwriting project of Steve Slagg, who grew up playing Chopin and hymns on the piano and listening to his sister's chick-rock mixtapes on a tiny portable boombox with rainbow colored buttons. Son of a Methodist minister and an elementary school teacher, Steve spent his adolescence cruising his rural Missouri hometown and blasting Rufus Wainwright's Want One from his car stereo. Youngest Son's music is all about contradiction.
His demo reel, Pigshit & Glowing, is a series of six original story-songs (and one cover) performed by Steve, alone at the piano. Praised for its precise lyricism and storytelling, the EP includes songs about a gay porn star, a celibate Catholic lesbian and a charismatic healing prayer service. Its highlight, "Craters of the Moon," compresses the geological history of a forgotten part of southern Idaho with the personal history of a father and son on a road trip.
Youngest Son's latest album All Saints' Day is a deeply personal song cycle about three loved ones who died in the span of a year. The album works its way through grief, weaving together nature and Christian liturgy with moments of intimate friendship, family and community life. The songs' classically-influenced indie folk sound -- arranged with cellist Cathy Kuna, members of Mooner, the McMakens, and producer Blade Barringer -- is an attempt at planting a cathedral over the top of a pine forest.
All of Youngest Son's songs are presented on this website with hyperlink-riddled lyrics, artwork by artists like Jeremy Grant and Charity Kittler, and blog posts that explain the stories behind the songs. These collaborative, interactive liner notes are for listeners, so please: come in, stay long and dig deep.