Steven Wesley Guiles has been making music for two decades. He began cutting his teeth on rock and roll as a guitar player and contributing writer for Azusa Pacific University indie darlings, EEG (later known as The Vegas Nerve). From there he joined forces with Eric Shouse and Ben Eggehonrn to form alernative power pop super group, Pushstart Wagon, releasing two crtically acclaimed albums, receiving worldwide airplay (including local powerhouse, KROQ 106.7), and touring the country.
After getting married in 1995 Steven took a break from touring and for the next 7 years he wrote and performed music with his wife under the name Friction Bailey. They released two beautiful albums of indie folk that could be described as music somewhere between Over The Rhine, Sixpence None The Richer, and The Innocence Mission. Their Christmas album, The Silent Night, released in 2004, received airplay on NPR’s online radio show, All Songs Considered and is still a gorgeous work of musical art.
In 2005, after several years of recording and writing, Pushstart Wagon released it’s second full-length, L.A. Was Our Alamo, with Steven as the primary songwriter and lead vocalist. After two years of playing on that album the band took an extended hiatus which Steven used to familiarize himself with the recording process. Settting himself up in his own John Cash Studios, he began learning the basics of digital multi-tracking, recording several local bands and enjoying the benefits of having a studio in his own home.
In 2008 Steven joined an online songwring community called FAWM.ORG (February Album Writing Month) to push himself to write more music. The community challenges all of it’s members (“FAWMERS”) to write fourteen songs in the twenty eight days of February. Steven not only met the goal, but exceeded it, writng more songs than he had ever written in a one month period. That same year he participated in 50/90, a similar challenge, writing fifty more songs! It was this set of songs that led to his online collaboration with producer/mixer Garret Gengler of Work Songs. Through these online meetings the album We Will All Be Lifted was born.
“Steven Wesley Guiles’ new album We Will All Be Lifted is a real gem and may be one of the best album’s released this year that most people will not hear. Musically understated, the album is in the same neighborhood as artists such as Bon Iver, Denison Witmer and early Pedro the Lion. There is an uplifting nature to theses songs that is often missing from albums in the genre.” -Thomas Amtsbuechler for Drive By Media.
His latest EP And The Stars Will Guide Us Home features Steven playing the lion’s share of the instruments with producer/mixer Garret Gengler adding flourishes and atmosphere. The opening track, I Will Not Be Defeated, is a structural one-two punch. This short and deliberate chant along ode for the underdog is fist-pumping indie rock at its best. On tunes like Eddie Vedder Told Me There’d Be Days Like This and Tammy Faye, I Love You what could be throw-away name-droppers turn out to be deeply moving and heartfelt songs about death and the human spirit.