Release Date: Jul 28, 2017
Record label: Nude Records
Back in 2006, when Lana Del Rey was a mere glint in plain ol’ Lizzy Grant’s eye, Juanita Stein was already busy conjuring her own brooding, dusky vocal magic on Aussie quartet Howling Bells’ criminally underrated, self-titled debut. Possessed with the kind of pipes that could illicit spine-tingling chills from the bleakest of tales, Stein and the band were a more measured, mature thrill within a garish, antagonistic landscape of Hard Fi and Razorlight. Needless to say, they didn’t do as well as they deserved to.
A s frontwoman of Howling Bells, a deliciously dark Australian rock band with country twangs to lose your heart in, Juanita Stein's solo debut should be a thrill. These roads, though, are just too well worn, ambling through Nancy'n'Leeville on Florence - a tribute to the woman depicted in Dorothea Lange's 1936 Migrant Mother photograph - stopping by Patsy Clinetown for Cold Comfort. The Chris Isaak romance of Dark Horse and the dusty space rock of Black Winds are lush enough, but there's not enough deviation from shtick, enough convincing deviance in this "ode to the dark heart" of the US.