|photo by Akhil Sesh|
Britney Stoney has been writing and performing her music for several years around the scene, having released an EP back in 2012, followed by the seven-song EP Native in the summer of 2015. Today, I'm excited to share her latest single. "Grip" will also have a music video debuted on Monday, but this is a chance for you to sneak a listen...
You can see Stoney perform tomorrow night, (Sat., 4/29) at El Club, opening for Mother Cyborg's album release party (info)
Stoney's a breathtaking vocalist and performer, with such a sensibility for soulful dynamics in her voice, as she secures something vulnerable yet defiant, soft yet steeled, tender yet tough...with a melodic current to her vocalizations that matches the groove, snap or sway of any beat beneath her voice. This one's a restorative song - even if the lyrics are laced with regret, its in her voice, her delivery, the dulcet/breathy tones she syncs, that sweetens everything into something radiant. The soft whirl of that groove and the bright clasp of those synths and that buzzy bass certainly help, too, but some strongest charms are in the subtlety of her own voice tracked in harmonization under the rise/fall melody of that chorus.....
Stoney is a singer/songwriter/guitarist and Kresge Music Fellow who's collaborated with a handful of producers, lyricists and other Detroit-area eletronica/hip-hop artists over the years. And we can also count playwright among her recent credits. Where as you might throw this in with dazzling neo-soul, trip-hop or electro-pop, we have to remember that Stoney is a folk singer at heart, with the human condition and a sense of compassion kept at heart, in her themes and compositions.
Just going back to how subtly powerful her voice can be - granted it's dressed here with ambient synths and shimmering beats--still, her roots are in more intimate performances, like open mics, coffee-house type settings, galleries, listening rooms, where it can be just her acoustic guitar and her solo voice; that's how she started, and she sustains that power to this day, with this latest track.
So, yeah, we throw around genre-splicings to help for categorization, like soul or neo-soul... Well, this is soul music in that it is an undeniable salve for the human soul.