Been Stellar: Scream From New York, NY [Album Review]

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Been Stellar
Scream From New York, NY
Dirty Hit [2024]

The Fire Note headphone approved

Album Overview: Been Stellar, a five-member band based in New York City, has transitioned from their early shoegaze influences to a more intense and raw sound. Their formation and initial recordings laid a foundation that evolved significantly by the time of their debut album, Scream From New York, NY. The record presents a vivid portrayal of emotional isolation and the challenging dynamics of urban life, capturing a gritty and poignant image of the city. Their music paints this picture clearly, as the tracks are both isolated and expansive simultaneously. This creates a timeless album that will grab your attention with every spin.

Musical Style: The album’s sound blends aggressive and melodic elements, influenced by prominent New York rock traditions. It combines a turbulent and atmospheric feel with a sense of urgency and intensity, creating a musically dense and layered experience.

Evolution of Sound: Transitioning from their initial shoegaze beginnings, Been Stellar has embraced a more chaotic and forceful sound in Scream From New York, NY. This shift highlights a move towards a harsher, more confrontational style, influenced by both the spirit of their city and the bands that have shaped its musical landscape. Every song on this album is delivered with a last breath type of mentality that captures you for its full rotation.

Artists with Similar Fire: Their music draws comparisons to influential acts such as Sonic Youth, Interpol, The Walkmen, and The Strokes. These comparisons underscore the band’s ability to channel the energy and spirit of these iconic groups while forging their own distinct sound. Been Stellar also shares a similar post-punk style with Fontaines D.C.

Pivotal Tracks: The title track, “Scream From New York, NY,” serves as a key moment on the album, encapsulating the thematic core and sonic direction of the band. It is a track that truly captures the band at its peak. Another significant track, “All In One,” stands out for its powerful drumming and lyrical exploration of everyday life and broader existential themes. “Pumpkin” is a slight sonic departure compared to the album’s other tracks. It’s more subdued, but it puts singer Sam Slocum’s vocals out front even more, which works as the music explodes behind him in small pieces.

Lyrical Strength: The lyrics on Scream From New York, NY are noted for their rawness and introspective quality. They reflect the complexities of personal and urban existence, often conveying a sense of disconnection and searching for meaning amidst the routine of daily life. The lyrics are both poetic and relatable, capturing fleeting truths and deeper reflections.

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Christopher Anthony
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