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New music review with Been Stellar and DEADLETTER

Our weekly fix of the best new music as Julia Mason (aka The Decibel Decoder) brings us her review of new music with singles from Been Stellar Sweet and DEADLETTER Mere Mortal

Logo for Blowtorch Records blog series Cool Sounds From The Underground

Artist: Been Stellar

Track: Sweet

Been Stellar release new single Sweet
Credit Gabe Long

NYC-based Been Stellar have shared new single Sweet from their forthcoming debut album Scream from New York, NY, set for release on 14 June via their new label home Dirty Hit. Sweet opens with a distinctive guitar riff which crashes into the drums.  Been Stellar layer the instruments over the vocal part from the outset. The quiet section gives a momentarily pause before the frantic pace sets in again. The guitars and drums combine to create a claustrophobic yet exhilarating soundscape. The mounting frustration alluded to is reinforced by the increasing impassioned vocal.

Lead singer Sam Slocum shares the following on the track: “We were all intrigued by the simplicity of the verse, it felt like something we would usually shy away from.  I really tried to let the music inform the lyrics, and to not overthink what was coming from the song’s natural feeling. One of the first lines that came to me was “we’re speaking when we don’t know what to say.” I think in close relationships, the most pure moments shouldn’t need to be spoken about. And in life in general, the things that matter the most and bring people together shouldn’t warrant many words, if any. Words complicate feeling sometimes.”

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Track: Mere Mortal

DEADLETTER release new single Mere Mortal
Credit Daniel Delikatnyi

DEADLETTER have released their new single Mere Mortal. This week they also announced their debut album Hysterical Strength set for release on 13 September via SO Recordings. Produced by British producer Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Adele), Mere Mortal sheds light on the direction of the album.

The track was created after a heartbreaking personal tragedy, the suicide of a close friend. Opening with stuttering guitars and pulsating saxophone, the track continues at pace, urgent and forthright. The underlying theme is one of uncertainty, pondering the challenges of life, and this is reflected in the instrumentation which is twitchy and nervy. 

The combined vocal in the chorus contributes to this universal theme we all face, dealing with the chaos around us.  The off kilter vocal of Zac Lawrence towards the end, and the static fuelled guitar outro reflect the confusion of dealing with such difficult situations as bereavement and loss.

Lead singer Zac Lawrence expands on the track: "Though Mere Mortal was written in the wake of personal tragedy, its intention is not to convey the sentiment of subjective grief, but to act as an undoubtedly relatable tale of loss and longing for all those who themselves have been faced with and have had to navigate the confusing, painful landscape that bereavement leaves one confronted by."   

DEADLETTER are Alfie Husband - drums, George Ullyott - bass, Poppy Richler - Saxophone, Sam Jones - guitar, Will King - guitar, Zac Lawrence - vocals.


DEADLETTER - Hysterical Strength 2024 headline tour dates

Pre-order Hysterical Strength from the DEADLETTER store to access pre-sale tickets for November's UK tour. General on sale begins 10:00am BST on Friday 26th April.

11 Oct - Le Grand Mix, Tourcoing, FR

12 Oct - La Maroquinerie, Paris, FR

14 Oct - Les Abbatoirs, Cognac, FR

16 Oct - Cafe Berlin, Madrid, ESP

17 Oct - Razz 3, Barcelona, ESP

19 Oct - Covo, Bologna, IT

20 Oct - Arci Belleza, Milan, IT

22 Oct - Exil, Zurich, CH

23 Oct - Strom, Munich, DE

24 Oct - Arena, Vienna, AUT

25 Oct - Bike Jesus, Prague, CZ

26 Oct - Frannz, Berlin, DE

28 Oct - Molotow, Hamburg, DE

29 Oct - Gebaude 9, Cologne, DE

30 Oct - Trix, Antwerp, BE

31 Oct - Les Primeurs de Massy, Massy, FR

02 Nov - Doornroosje, Nijmegen, NL

03 Nov - Rotown, Rotterdam, NL

04 Nov - Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam, NL

06 Nov - Thekla, Bristol, UK

07 Nov - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, UK

08 Nov - Band on the Wall, Manchester, UK

09 Nov - Stylus LUU, Leeds, UK

10 Nov - St Lukes, Glasgow, UK

12 Nov - The Cluny, Newcastle, UK

13 Nov - Crookes Social Club, Sheffield, UK

14 Nov - Chalk, Brighton, UK

16 Nov - Electric Brixton, London, UK



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