Basil Strawberry is the stage name of (and band name for) the multimedia dreamy electronic pop led by Basil Jane Stevens. Stevens grew up in Missoula, MT, but didn’t “glow up” until she moved to Portland, OR in 2013. There she realized a few things: her appreciation for electronic music and her identity as a trans woman. Both are evident in her music, which she describes as Blood Orange meets Beach House, but like… queer.
She leads the band on vocals and synth and has written the vast majority of music and lyrics on the premiering debut album, Woman. The instrumentation is filled out by Graye Guidotti (Choking Kind) on percussion/vocals, Eirinn Gragson (Laura Palmer’s Death Parade) on synth/vocals, and Eddie Charlton (Lubec) on guitar.
Woman is an 8-track concept album documenting the feelings and experiences of trans identity. Nowhere is this theme more apparent than on the closing track Cry Now, wherein Stevens confidently states, “I’m powerful now/As I am a woman/As naturally the strange boy would turn out be.”
Accompanied by shimmering synths, soaring harmonies, splashy and intricate guitar leads, and bumping synth bass, Stevens has captured fresh dream pop sound.
The record also features guest appearances from some ubiquitous and beloved characters of the Portland music community: Sarah McKenna (Dan Dan/Blackwater Holylight), as well as Betty Joy Downey and Chris Hoganson (Petit Poucet/The Fur Coats).