Been Stellar - Scream from New York, NY

Dirty Hit

“The buzzy New York City rock quintet’s debut taps into a vivid sense of place. Their keening intensity captures a snapshot of a city coming unglued.” – Pitchfork (Album Review, 7.2)

“A thriller from start to finish, Been Stellar’s ‘Scream From New York, NY’ is one of the most assured indie rock debuts to land on our desk this year. Focussed, concise, and rippling with incredible energy, it’s an assured 10-track statement that blends visceral melody with raw power, tapping into their live prowess while embracing the clinical control of the studio environment.” – CLASH – 8/10

“With Scream from New York, Been Stellar have announced their presence with a gem that’s sure to fire them into wider consciousness” – The Line Of Best Fit – 9/10

“This city may not be the same, but Been Stellar’s music fondly recalls the days when things were cheaper and scarier” – Brooklyn Vegan

“Steely Post-Punk” – Rolling Stone

“A raw and magnetic sound that strikes mercilessly”– Paste Magazine

“Firey” – Stereogum

“Transcendental dissonance” – FLAUNT

“a glowing, crackling set of songs that balances moments of frenzied melancholy (“Sweet”) with bits of chaos and urgency (“Can’t Look Away”).” – Alt Press

“develops perfectly on the post-punk ethos from which the band hails, but infuses it with a spaciness and shoegaze vibe” – Consequence

“Post-punk has lately been inundated to the point of oversaturation, but Been Stellar proves that this subgenre hasn’t lost its luster quite yet” – Uproxx

“Been Stellar celebrate the spirit of New York City with moody, charging alt rock.” – Bandcamp

“white-hot and ferocious – an impassioned, emotionally charged indie rock fever dream” – Atwood Magazine

Like so many other dyed-in-the-wool New York bands, Been Stellar are transplants. Guitarist Skyler Knapp and vocalist Sam Slocum first met in their freshman year of high school a decade ago; members of the cross country team, they bonded over the band t-shirt Skyler was wearing and decided to start jamming together. In Michigan, they started performing under the Been Stellar name, but it wasn’t until the pair began studying at NYU, and met Brazilian-born guitarist Nando Dale, bass player Nico Brunstein and drummer Laila Wayans, that a sound started to coalesce. Despite working in wildly disparate styles – Nando and Skyler bonded over British bands like The Cribs; Nico was making electronic music, and Laila rave – the group bonded over a shared sense of humor, forming a motley crew based more on emotional compatibility than any rigid ideas of shared artistic sensibility.

Determined to break new sonic ground, the band embarked on a relentless practice schedule, even renting scrappy studios on days off during tours with Fontaines DC and Shame. After befriending him at SXSW, the band tapped producer Dan Carey (black midi, Wet Leg) to help coalesce the disparate elements of their sound that had been percolating: forceful, driving physicality; pop classicism; gnarled beauty; and a rich emotional core. The resulting 10-song album announces Been Stellar as gimlet-eyed chroniclers of contemporary youth, staring through noise and confusion into the dark heart of modern life. These songs embody the spirit of a city that makes and breaks its inhabitants on a daily basis – an irony befitting the album’s tone: Been Stellar’s preternatural ability to capture the disconnection that haunts New York with photorealist detail might just be the thing that vaults them into its pantheon.


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