Laura Stevenson was schooled in the traditional music of her grandfather and grandmother (composer of “The Little Drummer Boy” and vocalist for the Benny Goodman Orchestra respectively) from an early age. It wasn’t until she started performing with Bomb The Music Industry in her teens, that she began writing on her own. Privately crafting songs on the softer side of indie rock and traditional folk, Stevenson was soon tapped as the band’s opener and, with the addition of Mike Campbell and Alex Billig in 2007, Laura Stevenson and the Cans solidified. Their live band grew into a quintet, often times swelling to eight members, and the following debut LP, A Record, won them fans far and wide having been downloaded over 25,000 time since it’s 2008 release.
Sit Resist, an album centered around never sitting stagnant, sees a matured band that has been continuously at work writing, arranging and touring for the past three years. Lyrically, Stevenson’s pen has a sharp, poetic tone, making it impossible not to be taken in by her stories. Where A Record crackled with Stevenson’s intimate voice alongside gentle acoustics, begging the listener nearer, Sit Resist commands the attention of all within earshot with its rich instrumentation and textured melodies.
Over the course of the album’s thirteen songs, you’ll hear the band weld a variety of musical styles that dreamily caress and nurture one another into a wholly unique rendering of Americana. “Master of Art” with its Phil Spector-esque, girl-group tease of an intro, explodes with the energy of Stevenson’s voice – an instrument that is as strong as it is lovely. “Caretaker” conjures up ghosts and memories of homes inevitably / regrettably left behind. You’ll find major-key resolution in the juxtaposed tale that is “The Healthy One,” and “I See Dark” waltzes you, dear listener, into the lonely night, hand-in-hand.
The overall effect achieved by Laura Stevenson & the Cans is an album that’s as invigorating and life-affirming as it is quietly emotional and delicate. This is an intelligent, literate album crafted of fragments of fleeting memories of time and place, yet it manages to convey volumes. Sit Resist is a true piece of art! Out now via Don Giovanni Records.
Hear/download the record below.
Sit Resist is out now via Don Giovanni on digitally (Amazon, iTunes), CD and on vinyl.