MP3 Stella Schindler - Distant Hum
With lyrics tinged with the earthy, dramatic, and sometimes spooky hue of an Appalachian folksong and with a haunting voice anchored in the roots of country blues, Stella weaves her songs with threads of Americana and folk rock.
11 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk-Rock, COUNTRY: Americana
Taking cues from the likes of Gillian Welch, Neko Case, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn & Jack White, Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris, Stella wrangles the best that precedent can offer while weaving her own tapestry of pure Americana. Using a variety of instrumental and thematic arrangements, she demonstrates both a range and restraint indicative of a well honed ear. She is able to carefully build sound and texture without ever muddling the track, maintaining a focus that is deliberate but never forced. At times dark and haunting, and at others hopeful and inspiring, Stella offers us a journey through landscapes of life, love and loss, highlighting their inherent beauty while acknowledging and lamenting the flaws in each. To hear her music is to appreciate true regret, and in doing so experience a kind of redemption.
On her latest effort – Distant Hum - her tools are nothing new, but they certainly stand the test of time. Ever-present is her acoustic guitar, but this time around she is accompanied by some of Washington DC’s finest musicians in the indie/alt country scene. Produced and Engineered by TJ Lipple at Silver Sonya Studio and featuring Adrian Carroll and Mike Pahn (Shortstack, Gypsy Eyes Records), Tom Hnatow and Jesse Elliot (These United States), TJ Lipple (Aloha, Polyvinyl Records), Devin Ocampo (Beauty Pill, Mary Timony Band, Dischord Records), Sean McArdle, and David Durst, this record has the perfect supporting cast. These guys can infuse her affinity for the waltz and the two-step—which must be the way her blood flows—with plenty of variation in nuance and tone to maintain a momentum that carries the listener through each story.
As much as one can appreciate her skill at song-smithery, her undeniable and glaring talent is her voice. She has the vocal prowess to warrant undivided attention, but also displays a warmth of sincerity and vulnerability that can be utterly disarming. The result is a presence that is emotive without feeling melodramatic. She can haunt you with portents of impending doom on tracks like ''Death Valley'' and ''Poor Margaret in the Dark'', make the boys swoon with ''Walk a While'', and shatter your heart with songs like ''Faded Memory'' and ''Willow''. It''s obvious her work is very personal, and in a way the album is like a high-wire act. We watch her dance the fine line between individual experiences and universal themes, and as we anticipate what her fate will be we invariably wonder about our own.
"Here’s a sensual, trilling voice that hits you straight away and sticks in your memory, and the songs are equally compelling. Schindler’s Americana vision has an eerie aura exemplified by the haunted, voice-from-the-grave “Faded Memory”; the panoramic “Ancient Trail” on which her reverbed vocal achieves a hypnotic, Mazzy Starr vibe; and her catchiest song, “Broken Glass.” On each of Schindler’s tunes, the mix of voice and instruments is expertly rendered" (Music Connection Magazine).
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