– Lauren Laverne, BBC Radio 6 Music
“can’t wait for the whole thing!”
– John Kennedy, Radio X
“new music from the wonderful Juanita Stein”
– Guy Garvey, BBC Radio 6 Music
“whoops and devastates about how grief unhinges memories like the harshest magic”
“a darker proposition; where her gorgeous silky vocal usually comes paired with sun-soaked sonics”
“Juanita Stein … a singer with real magnetism… her third solo album is in another league”
“A beautiful meditation on the lacerating pain of loss and the redemptive power of memory”
– Louder Than War
“Snapshot captures what makes the singer so special… The combination of her up close vocals and soul-mining lyrics yield music of extraordinary emotional heft”
– The Sunday Times
From the devastating new album from Howling Bells vocalist and guitarist turned solo artist Juanita Stein comes the new single ‘Reckoning’.
On the new single, Juanita says: “Reckoning is a song about letting go. Whether that be of love or loss. Both these things summons immense heartache, however, I’ve found from that comes great wisdom and growth. I wrote this song towards the end of recording Snapshot. The verses have me reflecting on recent hardship and there is a definite sense of release in the chorus. Me falling backwards into the calm river. The video was filmed on a scorching hot day in a small town in France, I had a bicycle, a river near by and a real sense of being disconnected from the bustling world I’d left behind momentarily.”
Working with the producer Ben Hillier (Elbow, Blur, Doves, Nadine Shah), Snapshot was written and recorded over a period of eight months following the sudden death of Stein’s father, Peter, in 2019.
Juanita was exceptionally close to her dad – he was her earliest introduction to music and gifted her a childhood “exploding with sounds of 60s folk, rock’n’roll, delta blues, country and soul”. She describes feeling “a compelling inspiration I’d not felt before” during songwriting sessions for the album, which is entirely given over to Stein and her family’s changed world following Peter’s death.
Along with Hillier, Stein recruited her brother (and Howling Bells bandmate), Joel, on guitar, jazz drummer Evan Jenkins, and Jimi Wheelwright (bass) to help realise the songs. The album is a progression from her two previous solo LPs, which had both been recorded during intensive sessions of just a few weeks, and both in the U.S. The benefits conferred by the extra time and space, plus being close to home during this time of grief, can be heard in its more expansive, exploratory, sometimes downright psychedelic sound.
Despite the album’s tough subject matter, Stein’s voice is, as ever, a balm.