The broader rhythm of Laura Stevenson‘s April 12 set at Star Theater was simple and palatable: begin each of her power pop songs vocally exposed before mounting each on the massive, swelling chords of her five-piece band. The Brooklyn bandleader sang with assurance and delicacy, and the crowd of a little under a hundred shuffled to the simple rock beats and mouthed along to the shy anthems.
The best of the set was always in the minutia, something I’d argue a careful listener would feel about Laura Stevenson’s music right away, especially her acclaimed 2015 album Cocksure. Her nasal lilt is capable of pitch perfect rock ‘n’ roll size, but also an incredible shelfing down on a vocal scale, not necessarily running. It creates the vulnerability inherent to the self-effacing and quietly hilarious songs, like “Jelly Fish.”
Stevenson’s stage presence was an appropriately modest bluster, always saying with a little laugh that the next song would also be a sad one. But sure enough it would rise up with chords and a mitigating, pleasant melody. Lyrically following suit, many of Stevenson’s songs begin like intimate notes to someone, even to herself, and end in something cautiously revelatory.››
– Chance Solem-Pfeifer