Track Of The Day – Juanita Stein – Dark Horse

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Howling Bells have been and remain one of our favourite bands to emerge during all our years of blogging. They really should be a band of stadia-straddling hugeness. So with that in mind, it’s no great stretch to imagine our excitement when we heard frontwoman Juanita Stein was to release a solo album.

Often solo albums evolve from writing songs that perhaps don’t quite fit into an artist’s band’s oeuvre or emerge when a band takes a break. Or, alternatively are the result of a gargantuan ego that assumes the announcement ‘ and the next track is from my new experimental, ‘less song-oriented’ album featuring field recordings of Himalayan Yaks’ will be greeted with wild applause rather than tumbleweed.

In this case, it was perhaps a little of the former and definitely not the latter as Juanita’s solo work started to take shape around the arrival of her first child and since has grown into a full-length album entitled ‘America.’  The latest track to emerge ‘Dark Horse’ perfectly encapsulates Juanita’s vision of the ‘tone’ of the album.  There’s a sense of familiarity, of wistful nostalgia and of faded glamour as Stein’s mellifluous, elegant vocal weaves it’s way around chiming guitars and a subtlety propulsive percussion.

Whilst it may not sound a million miles away from Howling Bells music, the album is very much Juanita’s own take on the ‘dark heart of America’ . Of the album, Juanita says “ I’ve forever idealised American life – growing up in Australia we were fed the American dream through film and television. The dichotomy between what was real and a dream is forever intriguing to me. The music of Roy Orbison, Dusty Springfield, Lee and Nancy and Patsy Cline all informed my musical sensibilities. They opened up this wide screen universe for me.”

America is released on Nude Records on 28th July, and will be available on Digital, CD (NudeCD24) and Vinyl (NudeLP24).
Dark Horse (Nuds79) is available to stream from 2nd May.

here’s the video recorded during  SXSW

North American Tour Dates – May 2017
Wed 17th May – The Flycatcher, Tucson AZ
Thurs 18th May – Casbah, San Diego CA
Fri 19th May – Bootleg Theatre, Los Angeles CA
Sat 20th May – Bottom of The Hill, San Francisco CA
Mon 22nd May – The Fox Cabaret, Vancouver CA
Tues 23rd May – Mississippi Studios, Portand OR

Weds 24th May – Sunset Tavern, Seattle WA

UK Tour Dates – July 2017

Fri 7th July – Bluedot Festival, (headlining 2nd stage) Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire

Sun 9th July – British Summer Time with Tom Petty, and the Heartbreakers –  Hyde Park
, London
Sun 23rd July – Deer Shed Festival, Yorkshire
Sat 29th July – Cambridge Folk Festival – Cheery Hinton Hall, Cambridge

Andy Von Pip

ANDY VON PIP - Founder, editor, writer, reviewer, photographer and all round good guy at the VPME.com. Has been new music tipster on BBC6 Music, Amazing Radio, and DJ on Strangeways Radio. His radio work has been described as sounding like Ian McCulloch on ketamine fused with Ringo Starr whilst contriving to make Paul Robeson sound like wee Jimmy Krankie. New music tipster on Amazing Radio, moderator for BBC 6 Music DJ Tom Robinson's Fresh on the Net, former member of "BBC's Sound Of" panel. Words have appeared in or on The Quietus, Music Week, Record Of The Day, The Guardian, GIITV, The Sabotage Times, Bido Lito etc ... Photographer and reviewer for The Skinny Bido Lito and Louder Than War. Media partner with Liverpool Sound City - Nice beard too. Also, house photographer for 02 Academy and Arts Club in Liverpool and for Rex Features worldwide. You can check out his photography at Andy Von Pip Photography

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