Every artist you listen to, you do so for a different reason
You listen to Zeppelin when you want to rock out. You listen to The Mountain Goats when you want to feel something complicated. Lena Stone is an artist you listen to when you just want to feel good about life. Her music is the auditory equivalent of watching The Office. It's fun, enjoyable, and even though it touches on some of the deeper sensations of life, it's always easily palatable, and each portion leaves you ready for another one.
Stone is a native of Massachusetts, now operating out of Nashville, and she's been on the up and up for a while now. 2017 saw Stone releasing solid singles and writing popular songs for artists such as Kalie Shorr. Last month heralded the drop of her latest single, Running Out of Red Lights, and, as of today, her brand-new self-titled EP. The album consists of five tracks and they are all something special.
Photos: Jeremy Ryan
"Tragic" is an upbeat, medium-paced love song with summery tones. It fully embodies her pop-country flavor, and is undoubtedly the easy-listening hit of the album. "Nervous" is a sweet, but confident account of a first date, in which Stone toys lyrically with the subject of the song. It's fun and flirty, a meet-cute in musical form. "Hey There Hollywood" is the time honored story of being changed by the big city, and staying true to who you are. A " Sk8ter Boi" for Gen Z. "Running Out of Red Lights" (a single from earlier this year) really shows off Stone's songwriter chops, allowing her to take the listener places emotionally with an extended driving metaphor that's evocative, moody, and full of melancholy. "Can't Think Straight" is a passionate reminiscence on a faded relationship, back seat fumbling, first tastes of alcohol, and so much more.
Stone's album has the musical composition and thematic undertones of early
Taylor Swift material. Guitars, drums, a little synth, and a lot of straightforward heart. Stone's vocal and songwriting style however is more mature than Swift's earlier fare. Her lyrics flirt with an earthier side to life, and even the largely joyous "Tragic" is titled in a way that, literally, suggests tragedy. As a result, the sadder songs on the album feel authentic, and the happier songs feel earned.
This EP feels like it should be listened to at a barbecue in a field with good friends, a beer, the sun dying slowly out of the sky, and nothing to do tomorrow. It speaks to an appreciation for the now, and a love of the moment. Stone's work is emotionally worldly, but accessible, and new-listener friendly. Listening to her you feel welcome in the world she's creating and you're ready to listen to everything she has to offer. Do yourself a favor, and give her new EP a listen.
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