Premiere: Stevie Jean swerves back to indie with her debut EP, Blame Game
After a year collaborating with some of Australian hip-hop's most exciting, Stevie Jean's debut EP takes her back to the guitar.
If you recognise the name Stevie Jean from the last twelve months, it's either due to her only work - a pair of debut singles, Hell In Every Religion and Estranged that arrived across 2018 - or her recent work as a go-to hip-hop collaborator, sharing a nine-track collaborative mixtape with Tasman Keith back in August (one which really positioned the pairing as a dynamite duo, perfectly contrasting one-another and their respective sounds) and featuring on Horrorshow's New Normal record just a few weeks back.
In both areas, strangely enough, Stevie Jean feels in her prime. The guitar-rich indie/roots/rock combination that defined her early work is full with a confident swagger that was also highlighted in her work across the hip-hop sphere, and as she picks up her guitar and returns to her indie-backed sound for her debut EP out tomorrow, you get the sense that she's a menacing force regardless of the sounds she takes on; the Northern Territory singer-songwriting amongst the prime up-and-coming forces set to define Australian music in the years ahead.
Premiering on Pilerats today ahead of its greater release tomorrow, Blame Game is a combination of five tracks that really highlight Stevie Jean's many pockets of beauty, redirecting the focus onto her guitar-rich songwriting as she navigates the complexities of growing up - the highlights, the low lights, the triumph and the confusion all packaged into one concise release. "It’s petty and it’s triumphant!," she exclaims, for example, on one of the EP's shining moments: December Song.
"The whole project is stories from my high-school years," she says on the EP, which arrives ahead of a national tour supporting Montaigne across the country in November - full dates and more information here. "It was a confusing time, I grew as the innocence of childhood was stripped away and the rest of my life laid in front of me with all its beauty and rough edges. There were betrayals of friendships, and of self. I recognized broken systems and searched for clarity and closure which no one seemed able to give me. So, I went alone with a pen and a guitar to seek my own answers."
It's a brilliant release that further introduces a side of Stevie Jean we had yet to see really fleshed out, so dive into it below, and then catch her on that aforementioned national tour with Montaigne and Miss Blanks next month.
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