When an indie band calls themselves an indie band, that is just putting a blanket over their sound. Indie covers a variety of sub-genres, including pop, rock, and in Stellar Young’s case, jazz. Formerly known as The City Never Sleeps, Stellar Young is a 5-man band out of Albany. Conceived in 2004 and originally from the Hudson Valley area, all of the members have either known each other since school-age, or have some kind of kismet with a musical instrument.
Stellar Young consists of John Glenn (vocals/guitars), Erik Flora (Guitar/ vocals), Curt Mulick (drums), Kyle Hatch (Guitar), and Dave Parker on bass. The band released their first album Madison under their old name, The City Never Sleeps. They also have some amazing touring credits under their name, having played with Paramore, Badfish, Weerd Science, and The Features. Their new album, Everything At Once dropped on December 18, 2012 to obtain, well, stellar reviews. Madison was a pretty jazzy and poppy affair, and while Everything At Once sticks to the same formula, the production and the effort seem to be exceptionally well put together. Each track flows seamlessly into the next, while each song feels timeless and new every time it’s being played. Not one instance when I hit the “play” button did I feel as if it made a too much of a huge effort.
Everything At Once, Stellar Young’s 10-track LP is an uncluttered digital download with tunes like “Playing With Guns,” the first song on the album. The first listen had me thinking this could be another Fray wannabe group, only Stellar Young has so much more to their fusion of sound. Of course, Stellar Young isn’t as commercial either. What I heard was the guitar, rousing and arduous, with impressive melodies and bold drum lines. The harmonies of Glenn or Mulick were resplendent and effective, and that goes for all the tracks on which they sang together. “Restless,” a jocular and kicky tune, had me immediately up and moving. Their method to making music is just so skillful and neat; it was enjoyable to be able to hear all of the lyrics. Nothing drowned out Glenn. The instruments, besides the drumming which were produced at Applehead Recording, were all put down collectively at the band’s apartment. Dave Parker, Stellar Young’s bassist, produced Everything At Once. The bassist had the skill and proficiency of producing Stellar Young’s sophomore album as he had also some producing and performance credits with the band Weerd Science.
The track “Dorothy,” a well-heeded song, and one that got much airplay here at Inyourspeakers, is a beauty. True rock and roll at its core could define “Dorothy,” with the humming electric guitars, the cadence of the drums, and Glenn’s raspy inflection. It would be no surprise if this is the song that puts Stellar Young on the musical map once again to gain them more notoriety. From song to song, Everything At Once flowed so soundly. The exposition, arrangement and theme worked so very well for this LP. Piece by piece Everything At Once could be released as singles. If Albany will not recognize Stellar Young once more, there’s a good chance The Independent Music Awards or AIM Independent Music Awards (Association of Independent Music) certainly will. It’s only a matter of time.
1. Playing With Guns
3. The Universe is a Bully
4. The Misses
5. We Own Nothing
7. As You Go
8. Speak Now (Good Man)