BEEN STELLAR: "MIDWESTERN HOLIDAY"

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       Been Stellar’s new single “Midwestern Holiday” is an ode to upbeat angst. The song opens with lead singer Sam Slocum’s melancholy vocals, which oscillate between soothing teenage monotone and powerful high pitch wailing, reminiscent of an adolescent voice crack wrestled into tunefulness. Accompanied by garage-y guitars, lo-fi keyboard flourishes, and satisfyingly stripped down bass and drums, Slocum’s voice embodies the youthfulness that makes this band so compelling. Yet this youthfulness is, perhaps paradoxically, built on a level of maturity far beyond the young band’s years. This stems not only from Been Stellar’s impressive musicianship and Slocum’s emotive vocals, but also the pleasant complexities of his lyrics, which compare feelings of homesickness (the band originally hails from Michigan) with longing for a love lost. Slocum successfully conveys these emotions in a subtle and intelligent manner that still maintains the raw directness of youth. All in all, “Midwestern Holiday” is a must listen for any lover of up and coming music.

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VAN TINGLEY