Laura Stevenson – Wheels album review

Here are some words Stevenson uses to describe herself on her website:

“My mom would find me in my room, looking out the window, out at the street, singing by myself, sometimes crying,” she laughs, “I was a weird kid.”

“An unfunny Woody Allen.”

“…she spent her afternoons singing in four different choral groups, exploring a growing love for acapella. “Big time nerd stuff,” as she recalls, lamenting that there wasn’t a show like Glee around to validate her when she was in the thick of it.”

I like her already. Stevenson keeps the songs tight. They typically feature two electric guitars (although one is usually hidden in the background quite nicely) and subtle moments of vocal harmony. Her voice has an interesting tambour that takes a minute to get used to, like a punk rocker, but one who actually has incredibly good control over her voice. If you get a chance, check out her live performances of The Move. It was shocking to me that someone with this kind of guitar talent started out life as a classical pianist, but then again it isn’t really all that surprising because of course she’s incredibly multi-talented.

Personal story: My brother has a lot of fanboy crushes on Korean pop-stars. I’m pretty sure he likes them for their hip-flicking music videos more than the actual music, and there’s nothing really wrong with that if that’s what you’re into. I on the other hand, am a different story. Ms. Stevenson introduces The Move by saying something to the effect of “this is a song about being crazy and ruining someone’s life because of it.” This may say more about me than anything, but I have a huge crush on this girl. She is a fantastically talented musician and adorably self-aware. I would even recommend the music to children, so long as they don’t listen to the lyric content at every second. The acoustic songs are probably more to the general public’s liking, but I very much enjoy the electric guitar songs. If her career is a long one, (fingers crossed) then I don’t think the light punk aesthetic will stick, but hats off to Ms. Stevenson for displaying her versatility instead of sticking to her wheel house. No pun intended.

There are moments where it does feel like something is being held back. I suspect there is still some dark shadow of mad genius in Laura that hasn’t quite found a comfortable space to express itself.

Call me?

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