The pop-country singer is beginning her year by opening up.
Lena Stone is a singer-songwriter who knows how to let you in.
Her production style is fun and unpretentious, her vocal quality is easy and welcoming, and her lyrics make you feel like you're old friends catching up. Over the last few years, she's been steadily releasing quality material and courting favor in the pop-country community. Her past offerings have been strong, setting her up for a 2020 where the wider world will celebrate her the way she deserves. That celebration is geared to begin with her latest single, "Personal Space."
As a lightly fuzzed guitar is plucked in a staccato rhythm, layered against scattered drums and claps, Stone starts to share details of her life; uncomfortable truths, odd quirks, and intimate secrets. Then the chorus hits, and the meter changes, moving to a soothing new plane. Lyrically, Stone invites the subject of her song into her personal space, letting them witness the tapestry of who she is.
As the song progresses, we see a picture of closeness unfold that's fun and relatable, all cuddling on the couch in baggy sweatshirts. It's the kind of love that most of us can reasonably aspire to, free from the glitzed up glamor of Hollywood romance.
"Personal Space" is joyous and comforting, like a warm blanket on a chilly day. Ultimately, the song is about intimacy, and most importantly, it expresses the wonderful feeling of finding someone who you don't mind letting in—the kind of person who you want to see you without makeup, defense, or pretense. It's about the power of vulnerability between two people who value each other. Add it to your Valentine's Day playlist, play it for your special person, and watch the sparks start to fly.
Follow Lena Stone Online!
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After her EP dropped earlier this year, she's back to welcome in the Autumn!
Lena Stone released an EP at the end of Spring that seemed to kick off the Summer...
Like Vivaldi and Glazunov, that seasonal theme continues to be prominent in her work. Her latest single, "October," directly heralds the cooling of the year, as it tells the story of a love recently ended. In her truest form, she channels heartbreak in to melancholy, using the titular month as inspiration for her imagery. All of it coalesces into a product which could soothe a sunburnt soul, and make the world feel right again.
Gentle starlight synth swirls seem to fill the air as the track starts. It feels like oxygen moving in slow-motion. The guitar joins, and the heartbeat of the drums brings us back into real time. Violins, synth pulses, and electric guitar seem to fly around you as the song progresses, Lena's voice steering the piece like a ship through clouds. She sings of October, the year getting colder and love leaving. You feel the metaphor in your heart and in your skin, as if the song itself is commanding the season to change. By the end of the track you're ready to reach for a sweater and watch leaves change color. Its story of love lost is transcendentally simple, and leaves the listener reflective, wondering where the year went, and remembering same in sepia tones.
Stone's sound has hit a strong stride this year; her songwriting simple, but robust, and her musical composition varied, interesting, and engaging. You could be forgiven for not recognizing this as country pop just from listening. This track is country in the same way that the more poppy Shania Twain catalogue is country, and you'd be hard-pressed to be disdainful of a comparison to the best-selling female country artist of all time. Alongside Stone's other fare, this will fit in wonderfully. As you put together your playlist for the fall road trip, you definitely want to put this one on there.
"October" is a wonderful track, exhibiting all facets of Stone's talent at their best. Few singers in her camp write music that feels like it could turn the mood of a room in a moment. Put this on at a party, and Turn Down for What could have been playing immediately prior, regardless, your guests would all spontaneously put down their shot glasses and be ready for hot cocoa and a camp-fire. That is the power it has.
There's no better time than now to jump on board the Lena Stone train. She's an artist on top of her game, making music that you can listen to again and again without fatigue. "October" is a perfect entry point to her work, and you owe it to yourself to see just how far down the iceberg goes. Start listening to Lena Stone now, and enjoy the benefits for the rest of your life. Or at least for an October or so.
Thomas Burns Scully is a Popdust contributor, and also an award-winning actor, playwright, and musician. In his spare time he writes and designs escape rooms. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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She's Just Dropped Her Self-Titled EP, and it Will Make Your Summer Come Alive
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.
Lena Stone EP | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Thomas Burns Scully is a PopDust contributor, and also an award-winning actor, playwright, and musician. In his spare time he writes and designs escape rooms. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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