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Pop / Rock 18/04/2024

Been Stellar Share New Single 'Sweet' Ahead Of Debut Album

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Been Stellar Share New Single 'Sweet' Ahead Of Debut Album
New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Been Stellar have shared another preview from their forthcoming debut Scream from New York, NY, out June 14th. White-knuckled and cutting, "Sweet" is a nihilistic anthem that builds from melancholic 90's dream pop to guttural, rough-hewn rock, the band's frenetic, interlocking rhythms threatening to disintegrate at any moment.
"We were all intrigued by the simplicity of the verse, it felt like something we would usually shy away from," shares vocalist Sam Slocum. "I really tried to let the music inform the lyrics, and to not overthink what was coming from the song's natural feeling. One of the first lines that came to me was "we're speaking when we don't know what to say." I think in close relationships, the most pure moments shouldn't need to be spoken about. And in life in general, the things that matter the most and bring people together shouldn't warrant many words, if any. Words complicate feeling sometimes."

"Sweet" follows lead single "Passing Judgment," a masterful deployment of unbearable pressure and violent relief, and last month's "All In One," a ferocious late-album highlight that sees band member Laila Wayans' powerful, tectonic drumming coming to the fore. Been Stellar have spent the past month on a major European tour supporting The 1975 and will resume touring on May 4th, playing Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta, GA, touring the UK and returning to the states for their Lollapalooza debut.

Scream from New York, NY is a remarkably brutal debut - bruised and volatile, it captures an image of '20s New York that's unrelenting and harsh, where tenderness is a finite resource burned up by the machinery of the city and human connection is a luxury product. Leaving behind the driving shoegaze of their early recordings, the NYC-based five-piece tap into the disaffected sound and spirit of New York luminaries like Sonic Youth and Interpol, as well as the nihilistic, yearning cool of Iceage and Bends-era Radiohead, striking upon a sound that's fearsome, buffeting and beautiful at the same time - a tidal wave as viewed from underneath. Pre-order the album on vinyl, CD and cassette from Dirty Hit.

Tour Dates:
May 4 - Atlanta, GA @ Shaky Knees
May 15 - Southampton, UK @ Joiners
May 16 - Brighton, UK @ The Great Escape
May 18 - Amsterdam, NL @ London Calling
May 20 - Bristol, UK @ The Louisiana
May 22 - Manchester, UK @ YES (basement)
May 23 - London, UK @ The Lexington
July 26 - Sheffield, UK @ Tramlines Fest
July 27 - Oxfordshire, UK @ Truck Fest
July 28 - Suffolk, UK @ Latitude Festival
August 1-4 - Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza

1 Start Again
2 Passing Judgment
3 Pumpkin
4 Scream From New York, NY
5 Sweet
6 Can't Look Away
7 Shimmer
8 Takedown
9 All In One
10 I Have The Answer

Like so many other dyed-in-the-wool New York bands, Been Stellar are transplants. Guitarist Skyler Knapp and vocalist Sam Slocum first met in their freshman year of high school a decade ago; members of the cross country team, they bonded over the band t-shirt Skyler was wearing and decided to start jamming together. In Michigan, they started performing under the Been Stellar name, but it wasn't until the pair began studying at NYU, and met Brazilian-born guitarist Nando Dale, bass player Nico Brunstein and drummer Laila Wayans, that a sound started to coalesce. Despite working in wildly disparate styles - Nando and Skyler bonded over British bands like The Cribs; Nico was making electronic music, and Laila rave - the group bonded over a shared sense of humor, forming a motley crew based more on emotional compatibility than any rigid ideas of shared artistic sensibility.

In many ways, the band formed to fill a need: by the time Been Stellar found themselves in New York, the last vestiges of the city's famed 2000s and 2010s DIY underground had been ground down to nothing. The scenes that did exist felt impenetrable. So the band put on their own shows, renting spaces and collaborating with friends to build the world they wanted to inhabit.

Determined to break new sonic ground, the band embarked on a relentless practice schedule, even renting scrappy studios on days off during tours with Fontaines DC and Shame. After befriending him at SXSW, the band tapped producer Dan Carey (black midi, Wet Leg) to help coalesce the disparate elements of their sound that had been percolating: forceful, driving physicality; pop classicism; gnarled beauty; and a rich emotional core. The resulting 10-song album announces Been Stellar as gimlet-eyed chroniclers of contemporary youth, staring through noise and confusion into the dark heart of modern life. These songs embody the spirit of a city that makes and breaks its inhabitants on a daily basis - an irony befitting the album's tone: Been Stellar's preternatural ability to capture the disconnection that haunts New York with photorealist detail might just be the thing that vaults them into its pantheon.

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