Unfortunately Steven Ushers You Into His Groovy Avocado Disco

The L.A. singer-songwriter's upcoming concept album is a musical therapy session.

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Unfortunately Steven leads a musical therapy session on his upcoming concept album Groovy Avocado Disco and its leadoff single Life’s Too Expensive For Me — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

“The concept of the album is a full therapy session from start to finish,” says experimental L.A. indie-rock singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Steven Ramirez, the man behind Unfortunately Steven. “From walking into the session a human balloon filled with crippling anxiety and depression, to leaving deflated and ready to take on the week.

“The album begins by walking into therapy, sitting down, and spilling the daily truth. The therapist guides the listener through these thoughts and grounds them through mindfulness. I took inspiration from Phil Spector’s wall of sound to create an ‘overwhelming wall of anxiety’ sound. We crammed two drums, two basses, and two pianos into one studio, so that the listener can experience what it’s like to be inside an anxious mind. It can be a overwhelming at times, but so is anxiety.

“The album tackles the human condition, depression, drugs, addiction, capitalism and personal issues related to my father. As the album is experienced, the songs begin to empty and become more real, meaning that the listener, or myself, is expressing these heavy feelings and then becoming lighter by being honest with oneself. I like to think of myself as the the blueberry girl from Willy Wonka. I’m fully blown up with anxiety and by the time therapy has concluded, I am deflated and ready to take on the week. The hour of therapy in this case works out the root cause, being some unresolved father issues, and by the end, I’m left with nothing … but all of the nothing I have is for the listener. The reality for me is that there isn’t really a happy ending or any ending for that matter. This is a reminder that it takes continuous work and effort to fix your mind.”

Ramirez hopes this unique release — out May 6 — inspires people to seek therapy. The album’s title, Groovy Avocado Disco, shares an acronym with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. With a sound that mixes indie rock, musical theater, psychedelia and the wall of sound, Groovy Avocado Disco’s songs can sit on a playlist next to the best of Harry Nilsson, Daniel Johnston and Fiona Apple. Ramirez’s love for concept albums like Pet Sounds, The Wall and The Point!, coupled with his own mental health journey, inspired the new album.

“As a society, we tend to shy away from dark thoughts or depressed feelings but they are simply a part of the human condition. Everyone deals with struggles and people who say they don’t are living in denial. My goal for this album is to establish the harsh realities of mental illness, and what it’s truly like in the mind of an anxiously depressed individual.”

Groovy Avocado Disco is not just a collection of songs, but something that is designed to be listened to in order. It includes excerpts of real recordings from Steven’s therapy sessions that connect the songs. It’s very straightforward and raw, not leaving much to the imagination of the listener. It is a work of art, but maybe even more crucial, it’s a fully accurate and vulnerable document of Unfortunately Steven’s life.

The first single Life’s Too Expensive For Me is a cheeky nod to our current financial situation. Written in 2017, the song aged far too well as many people now can relate. A video was filmed during quarantine with a set made entirely out of cardboard including a life-size upright piano — an idea masterminded by the artists and filmmakers Amy and Zach Pope.

Watch Life’s Too Expensive For Me above, listen to the track below, and follow Unfortunately Steven on Instagram.