Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we tackle ‘Revolution,’ the newest record from HER, the moniker of vocalist Monique Staffile. The new album will be dropping next month in August - a follow-up to her acclaimed 2013 effort, ‘Gold.’ Before digging into her eight new songs, however, let’s learn a bit about her to give some context to the music.
HER has one of the more impressive resumes we’ve taken a look at here on the Spotlight. Based in New York, she broke out on the CBGB stage in her adolescence and eventually skyrocketed to opening for acts such as REO Speedwagon. She’s made a bold statement for herself in the country scene as well, charting awhile back with the modest hit, ‘White Trash Country Boy.’ ‘Revolution’ expands her musical repertoire significantly, exploring rock and roll themes she’d previously toyed with, but perhaps never fully embraced.
Sometimes, HER’s record toys with anthem rock on tracks like ‘Tonight.’ Other times, I’d actually align her with pop acts.... Ke$ha or Katy Perry. I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a variety of tracks on ‘Revolution.’ The superb title track exhibits not only fantastic instrumentalism, but equally fine lyricism. HER’s performance is impactful and passionate as can be, really driving home the protest-like nature of the title tune.
‘Crush’ continues HER’s venture through rather unique soundscapes, dabbling in electronic influence. The actual production on these tracks is incredibly good: everything is mixed and mastered properly, and the powerhouse band behind HER propels her forward in a cinematic fashion. The atmospheric ‘Damn’ explodes in a perfect cacophony of HER’s sound, highlighting the midpoint of the album with defiant rock and roll prowess.
Lyrically, ‘No Regrets’ feels a whole lot like a track off the cutting room floor of a Jack White session. Even in her delivery, HER embodies a similar style to White’s iconic word spinning. Of course, she has her own recognizable flair, something that culminates and resides in ‘Heavens Crashing Down,’ a haunting and beautiful track.
‘Revolution’ closes out with a track that could easily be heard any night of the week at CBGB’s. ‘Mean Man’ is one hell of a punk rock track, really harnessing the raw angst of a younger Patti Smith. (I actually think that comparison couldn’t be more spot on; HER’s inflection throughout the track is eerily similar to the legendary ‘Horses’ icon.)
When this record comes out next month, check it out. It’s a killer jaunt through kickass female-fronted rock and roll, once again proving that women can out-rock men any day of the week. HER is an artist to be reckoned with, one that is exhibiting massive potential and relevance - I’m already excited to see what she’ll be sending our way next. Support her and pick up a copy of ‘Revolution’ this August.
Connect With HER: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialHER