Laura Stevenson & the Cans
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Laura Stevenson & the Cans

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"PunkNews - Laura Stevenson: A Record"

Call me a sap if you must, but I've become a complete sucker for a woman who can sing. Quality lyrical content helps a ton, too, but as long as the voice delivering said lyrical content is at least somewhat angelic in nature, well, she could be reciting verses from the Necronomicon for all I care. Actually, that might be kind of cool.

Right now, Laura Stevenson is my songstress of choice and her new release, Laura Stevenson: A Record is a quick, breezy, blissful eight track mini-album that combines extremely impressive vocal stylings and diverse musical arrangements to create one of the better records I've heard recently.

It's actually kind of crazy how ambitious A Record is, in that it's not an album that can be pigeonholed based on only a couple of songs. There are quiet, minimal numbers like "The Pretty One" and "Nervous Rex," the former seeing Stevenson employing a combination of banjo, mandolin, violin and echoey vocals that sound worlds better than its description, and the latter a slightly more somber track built around surprisingly intricate finger-picking and subtle vocal harmonies. Stevenson follows a similar path in "A Shine to It" but ditches the acoustic instruments in favor of an electric guitar that's strummed just lightly enough to get the point across.

The rock is brought on the frantic "Landslide Song / The Dig," with loud, jagged guitars and horns serving as the backdrop for Stevenson's soothing vocals. It's an interesting juxtaposition, and one that doesn't hinder the song as much as one might think. "Source and the Sound" features a heavy dose of distorted keys and guitars, but the vocals here are muffled and difficult to decipher -- which surely was the intention, but the choice in production make it a slight misstep; still, it's nothing you should be inclined to skip.

A Record closes in the most ultimate of fashions with "Beets Untitled," a vast, five-minute opus that is an amalgamation of sounds heard in the subsequent seven tracks. Like two sides of a pendulum, the piano utilized in the song adds quite a bit of weight while the horns add a sense of whimsy that lighten things up, keeping the song from sounding too serious, while Stevenson howls over everything with a vocal range and command that's pretty mind-blowing. And the lyrics would undoubtedly be far less interesting if anyone other than Stevenson herself knew what was she really singing about: "Beets bleed and tables have legs / I boiled up a feast and the table it ran away a bloody mess / I need to stop singing in code / to start ringing true only because true rings only." Please, don't ever stop singing in code.

As previously mentioned, A Record is only eight tracks which decreases filler and increases replay value. Best of all, Quote Unquote Records released it which means you can choose how much you want to pay for it. Hell, you don't even have to pay for it if you're a cheap bastard. If you enjoy unpretentious, indie-tinged pop music, Laura Stevenson: A Record would fit in with your collection quite nicely. And even if you're not, there's simply no reason to not check out this album. -

"Time Out New York - Review"

"...reminds us of how Joanna Newsom sounded before she went utterly baroque."
- Time Out New York

"NME Videos" - NME

"Kata Rokkar Blog - Laura Stevenson and The Cans"

I was waiting for a good day to post about her. It seems as though Earth Day felt like the most appropriate day to do so. Maybe it’s because there’s something organic and natural about the way Laura Stevenson And The Cans present their music. Despite the amazing talent exerting from Laura and her crew, their entire first album entitled A Record, is available for download here, free of charge. The music off this record is stripped down yet layered over itself in smart harmonies draped in sadness and sprinkles of innocent joy. There seems to be a Regina Spektor-like playfulness mixed with the vulnerable honesty of Neutral Milk Hotel. - Kata Rokkar Blog

"Alternative Press - Tweet"

And @TheFestFL is underway! Laura Stevenson & The Cans are kicking things off fantastically. Imagine a female-fronted Weakerthans. - Alternative Press


2008 - A Record - Quote Unquote Records/Asian Man Records
2009 - Bomb the Music Industry - Split 7" - Kiss of Death Records
2009 - Holy Ghost 7" - Mandible Records



Laura Stevenson was raised in Nassau County, New York, where she was introduced to music at an early age. Her grandfather, Harry Simeone, was a successful pianist and composer whose works included "The Little Drummer Boy" and "Do You Hear What I Hear?". Simeone's wife (and Laura's grandmother), Margaret McCravy was a singer for the jazz bandleader Benny Goodman. Not until leaving her home for college, did Laura turn away from the piano to begin both playing guitar and writing songs.

Stevenson's classical music upbringing is complemented by a deep involvement with today's punk community. The folk(ish) artist is a keyboardist for Bomb The Music Industry!, one of the noisiest punk bands around today. But while she has served that role she also has been performing her solo material that is leagues apart from the over-compressed, thousand beats-per-minute, shriek-howls that denote BTMI!'s sound.

With her first release, "A Record" (recorded with her backing band, a loose and free-flowing collective known as the Cans), out on donation-based download label Quote Unquote Records, she sticks out amongst the myriad punk rock bands that make up its roster. Luckily she doesn't seem to mind.

Stevenson's sound can be all over the map. "A Record" sees her transitioning from hushed acoustic/banjo balladeering to 20 second interstitial tracks to crunchy electric guitarded rock songs.

She frequently writes about herself, her insecurities, the impact a personality or attitude can have on a relationship. On the surface that may sound like fairly typical singer-songwriter fare, but Stevenson's unique lyrical style, well-crafted harmonies, and stunning vocal performance place her as one of the most respected up and coming songwriters in Brooklyn.

"A Record" is set to be re-released on Asian Man Records in the spring of 2010 and "Holy Ghost!", her latest 7" was just released on Brooklyn's Mandible Records.