Juanita Stein, the Howling Bells frontwoman turned solo artist, has released a brand new single, Forgiver on 13th April (impacts 1 June). The single was co-written and produced by Brandon Flowers while Juanita was on tour with The Killers in Northern Europe this February.
Forgiver is the first taster of Stein’s upcoming second album, Until The Lights Fade, which will be released by Nude Records on 31st August. Says Stein of the song, “I remember wanting it to feel swaggering and wise, just like she is in the song. She a knowing seductress and he an endearing fool, completely at her mercy. It’s only once we get to the chorus that she shows any kind of vulnerability.”
“I’d written the bones of the song a while ago and began working on it again on the EU leg of the Killers tour. I’d managed to get Brandon to hear the song as was, with the intention of seeing if he could maybe help take it somewhere, and he ended up not only co-writing, but also producing the track, which we were able to record backstage during those last few days on the road. I loved the spontaneity of the recording. As with the album itself, everything unfolded very instinctively.”
Until The Lights Fade
Juanita Stein’s second solo album arrives less than a year after her first, ‘America’, saw her exploring the iconography and cultural landscapes of a country that had always fascinated her from afar. Yet, while ’Until The Lights Fade’ is cut from the same musical cloth as its predecessor – the crepuscular twang of bar-room guitars, the keening romanticism of its melodies, the sparseness and simplicity of its arrangements – the album’s ten songs are concerned with thoughts, feelings, stories and characters rooted far closer to home.
“I feel like the two albums are different sides of the same coin,” Stein explains. “If ‘America’ was the starting point of a journey – the musical equivalent of me spreading my wings, but also treading carefully, trying to figure myself out having come from such an intense period of camaraderie in the band – then this record is me starting to gain a bit more traction, feeling more confident in where I’m coming from and what it is I’m doing.”
When the opportunity arose late last year to spend a week in Austin, Texas with the producer Stuart Sikes (Cat Power, White Stripes, Loretta Lynn), Stein explains, “I just grabbed it. When you reach a certain point in life and moments like that appear, you have to go with it. Up til now, everything I’ve done has always been planned and laboured over, but this album was very impromptu, very spur of the moment – a couple of the musicians I was working with I had only met for the first time that week. It was like nothing I’d ever done before.”
This more spur of the moment approach also enabled the late inclusion on the album of Forgiver. Much like the week she spent in Austin, the song – recorded during the downtime between shows in The Killers’ mobile studio – was another of those serendipitous moments that Stein felt compelled to make the most of, and the swaggering, streetwise end result once again validates those instincts.
Following her recent dates with The Killers and a run that saw her back in Austin for SxSW, Stein now returns to the UK for a tour with Bryan Ferry, before a summer of festivals including Latitude, Green Man and the newly launched Black Deer, around the new album release.
18th April Glasgow, Poetry Club (Headline Show)
19th April Edinburgh, Usher Hall (with Bryan Ferry)
21st April Dublin, Olympia (with Bryan Ferry)
22nd April Dublin, East Side Tavern (Headline Show)
23rd April Belfast, Waterfront (with Bryan Ferry)
25th April Bristol, Colton Hall (with Bryan Ferry)
27th April Oxford, New Theatre (with Bryan Ferry)
29th April Birmingham, Symphony Hall (with Bryan Ferry)
1st May London, Palladium (with Bryan Ferry)
3rd May London, Eventim Apollo (with Bryan Ferry)
24th June Black Deer Festival, Tunbridge Wells
8th July TRNSMT Festival, Glasgow
14th July Latitude Festival, Southwold
20th July Spain, Benicassim Festival
24th July Finland, Helsinki Arena (with The Killers)
26th July Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Rockhal (with The Killers)
18th August Green Man Festival, Crickhowell