Been Stellar today release their first single since signing to UK tastemaker label So Young Records, an offshoot of the London-based magazine, So Young.
“Kids 1995” bleeds with a certain NYC rock nostalgia that runs red into what is distinctly new and Been Stellar. While remaining incredibly themselves, you could compare their bluntly poetic lyrical prowess to Wet Leg’s, the sometimes-bent guitars to those of Fontaines D.C., and the rhythmic vocal delivery to that of Iceage. Been Stellar is what you get when you leave the youth alone in a metropolis; they grow up, they make noise, they laugh, they kiss. Their songs live somewhere on Broadway, on Hester, on 34th, in Union Square, on the bridge, in the gutter, and under your shoe: the bright and crackling stories of violence and love in a tangibly un-glamorous New York.
The single quickly builds from a windingly melodic plea from lead singer Sam Slocum, begging above driving guitars. The controlled existential chaos of the bridge: And even if I was solipsistic / Or even if I am solipsistic / Would it really make any difference? / Because as much as I tell myself it’s all real / It’s just as real as it really isn’t – all leads up to a moment of elation before it falls right back into that divinely euphoric chorus.
About “Kids 1995”, (a nod to the 1995 movie about coming of age way too early & fast in New York), Been Stellar shares, “At the core of ‘Kids 1995,’ a narrator longs for a more simple view of the world. By examining himself and those around him, he realizes that the world no longer holds the same meaning it did in his youth, and questions whether the meaning he once felt was just an illusion. Ultimately, the narrator comes to decide that this sort of thinking gets him nowhere, and decides to embrace the bizarre uncertainty of his life.”
Been Stellar are an unlikely gang: Sam Slocum and guitarist Skylar Knapp met in high school outside of Detroit, later coming together with Nando Dale on guitar (who is from Brazil by way of Sydney), with Los Angeles natives Nico Brunstein on bass and Laila Wayans on drums at University. Bonded by the mission to create music that sounds like them, each member adds a tone and a limb to create a bleary, melodically raucous wall that could only have ever taken shape in a specific space: New York; and a specific time: right now.
Ready to set off on some exciting tours in the US (with Ultra Q) and the UK (with THE GOA EXPRESS), they’ve also recently signed a deal with Rough Trade Publishing, headed to SXSW as an official artist, and will be playing The Great Escape this summer as a part of their UK run. The momentum of this band, in spite of everything around them (and us), is undeniable.