Today we introduce new contributor, Alyssa Mastrocco. By day Alyssa can be found slinging you coffee and serving up tasty pastries in Boston. Soon to be graduate of Northeastern Unversity, Alyssa is a fiction writer and music journalist by night.
At first listen, Laura Stevenson’s voice sounds a bit like Joanna Newsom. It doesn’t make my skin crawl quite in the same way, though, so we’re off to a good start. The feeling, however, doesn’t last past the first few songs of Laura Stevenson and the Cans‘ Sit Resist. It pains me to speak unfavorably of a fellow Long Island lady, but this is an album whose song titles you just can’t ever match up with songs because they all seem to sound the same.
Released in April 2011, Sit Resist is the band’s third album. From a brief sampling of the previous two albums, it seems like more f the same with a few new instruments added in. There are both talented musicians and a unique voice captured on the recording, but somehow they just miss the mark on creating a “must listen album.” It was easy to get distracted by other stimuli while it was playing, and only the fact that a song had ended or Stevenson’s voice hitting a discordant note would draw my attention back.
Separately, there are quite a few exceptional tracks that appear on the album. “Halloween Pts. 1&2” and “Master of Art: start the album off on a strong note (no pun intended). They seem to be the most single-friendly tracks. I still can’t tell if these songs seem so exceptional because they truly are, or if I would feel the same about the first two songs in another track arrangement. By the fourth track through my second listen, I lost interest. Each song has a different title and different lyrics, but they all sound the same. that is, until you get to “Red Clay Roots.” Stevenson’s voice is multiplied to create a chord and then distorted. This makes is stand out amount the rest of the tracks, but it also creates a tone in Stevenson’s voice that becomes grating on certain notes. The distortion brings out the unpleasant qualities in her voice, which is a shame, because without the distortion, the song would probably sound the same if not better and be another standout. “Montauk Monster”, although mostly unrelated to the actual Montauk Monster, is a final highlight on an otherwise disappointing album.
Perhaps my inexperience with Stevenson’s work makes this album seem so disappointing to me. After a strong start, it just sort of tapers off into track after track of the same.