Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Album Review: Laura Stevenson and the Cans - Sit Resist
One of the several new writers that will soon be joining us, Eli is a consistent reviewer on SputnikMusic. However, he will now be joining us as a full time staff reviewer. He has plenty of experience with writing reviews, and will be covering a wide variety of genres.
In mid 2009, armed with an acoustic guitar and a dulcet croon, a young woman by the name of Laura Stevenson captured the hearts of an entire scene. With her EP, “Holy Ghost,” Laura Stevenson did in 15 minutes what many folk/indie artists could barely achieve in a length of twice that. Bursting with poise and personality, the EP captured a feeling of drama and urgency, whilst coming off a wholly fun and capricious. “Sit Resist” is her first full length, but even more so, it is solid, wonderful album that signifies what could possibly be a truly exceptional career.
Stevenson, the keyboardist for punk rock collective, Bomb the Music Industry!, has surprisingly carried over little from her main band, instead, opting for a more indie rock sound, mixed with a neo-folk aesthetic. While the band is her project, as she is the main creative influence, it is necessary to note that the group is indeed named Laura Stevenson and the Cans. “The Cans,” as it were, are more powerful here than on her previous EP. Less intimate, the focus is taken off of Laura, and placed more on the group as a whole. Instrumentation is fantastically varied, with unconventional instrumentation mingling with traditional acoustic guitar and keyboard. At times wonderfully conventional, while at other times tastefully experimental, “Sit Resist” is in no short supply of intrigue.
The real draw here is Laura herself, however, as her graceful yet powerful voice could become an indie treasure in the coming years. Songs such as “The Weight” display a fragile, subdued melody, while other songs such as “Master of Art” show a more confident, controlled type of vocal style. The range is fantastic, and the dramatic shifts in style only make the whole package appear even sweeter.
“Sit Resist,” however, is more than a great band with a great front-woman. Rather, the album is an outstanding collection of songs, each beautiful and engaging in their own way. “Halloween Pts. 1 & 2” opens things up with a jovial bang, whilst just a handful of songs down the line, “8:08” displays a much more thoughtful, stimulating type of songwriting. Nothing here is underdone, as it truly feels like the band put there everything into each one of these tracks. “Sit Resist” is not an infallible record, not in the least. Running a little long, it can at times drag, especially when less interesting tracks like “Peachy” come into play. Yet the few weaknesses displayed here are dwarfed by everything that was done so blissfully well.
To sum up “Sit Resist”, one word could be used—charming. Laura Stevenson is simply a charming individual, as her lovely lyricism, captivating voice, and clever songwriting truly displays. Because of this, “Sit Resist” stands as something more important than a solid debut. It stands as glorious beginning to what could become an outstanding career.
01. Halloween Pts. 1 & 2
02. Master Of Art
04. The Healthy One
05. Finish Piece
08. Red Clay Roots
10. Montauk Monster
11. The Wait
12. The Weight
13. I See Dark