Album: STELLA & STEVE
Record Label: Republic Records
Recommended Tracks: Track 3 – “Monsta”, Track 5 – “Blu”
New Zealand singer Stella Benee, who goes by the moniker Benee, is a new pop-artist that people should look out for. She released her new EP titled STELLA & STEVE which is a short but entertaining sample of her talent. It’s a great starting point for people to dive in and listen to if they’re unfamiliar with her other fairly-recent releases. This release has clean production and smooth rhythms that lean on mellow guitars and use of electronic beats that add a fun layer of depth to each track. Lyrically, the EP focuses on themes like loneliness and leaving your youth behind. Vocally, Benee has a unique voice that’s really pleasant to listen to, and I think she’s going to grow in the music industry as she continues to release more music. I rate this EP a four out of five.
The first recommended track, “Monsta” is a catchy song that instantly commands your attention with the electric guitar and steady drumming. She approaches the song in a story-telling manner through the lyrics, and sonically, she creates an atmosphere that allows the listener to imagine a monster taking them away from their safe place. It metaphorically represents anything in life that interrupts your happiness or comfort.
The second recommended track, “Blu” is one of the strongest songs on the EP. Her echoing harmonies on this track add a mesmerizing touch to the song and small details like the soft rain in the background at the end of the song makes it even more dreamy. It’s subtle behind the drums beats and funky guitar but once they fade out, the rain is more apparent. The best part of this song is her breathy and extended vocals that are supported by the solid instrumentation. The last minute of the song includes impressive guitar rhythms before giving way to her voice. In “Blu,” Benee sings about her lack of judgment in a relationship and wrongly believing that it would work out. Looking back, she sees that the relationship was toxic. She sings, “I thought I found the one… we always fought…But clearly I was blue…” STELLA & STEVE is a great EP to listen to if you’re interested in indie-pop and need a new artist to listen to. She has a lot of potential and I’m looking forward to checking out what she releases in the future.