Stella Schindler
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Stella Schindler


Band Americana Folk


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"One Track Mind"

Distant Hum by Stella Schindler

Standout Track: No. 7, “Hiram’s Lament,” a country & western waltz in the voice of a man who’s been left by his lover. The verses have the pace of a tired horse on a desert trail, but the chorus speeds to a lively trot as Hiram recites a litany of woes: “The whiskey cup is empty and the dog won’t get up/And the paint is getting thinner every time I look up.”

Musical Motivation: Brookland singer-guitarist Stella Schindler, wrote “Hiram’s Lament” after reading a biography of Hiram “Hank” Williams. “It’s an Old Testament name, but at the same time it conjures up for me the image of a man in the Midwest,” she says. From there, Schindler imagined a man who comes home every day from work and reads a Dear John letter. “Clearly this woman is not coming back, but he’s in denial,” she says. That idea inspired the verse: “Nellie, the lamplight is low/And I can’t read this letter you wrote/Have you gone back to Kansas or are you coming on home?/Oh Nellie, the lamplight is low.”

Hank You Friends: Hiram may be lonely, but that didn’t stop Schindler from enlisting several musician pals to accompany the lament with guitar, percussion, and lap steel. And while Schindler is used to playing solo, everyone who contributed to her album will be performing at her record-release party at the Velvet Lounge. “It’s a small stage,” she says. “I hope we can all fit up there.”
(Sadie Dingfelder, July 30, 2008)
- DC's City Paper

"August Mixed Tape"

"Death Valley" by Stella Schindler: Local songstress offers up a spooky, noirish tale with a galloping beat that, as the title implies, gives off a definite riding-in-the-desert vibe. (David Malitz, 2008)
- Washington Post

"Demo Review"

Here’s a sensual, trilling voice that hits you straight away and sticks in your memory, and the songs are equally compelling. Schindler’s Americana vision has an eerie aura exemplified by the haunted, voice-from-the-grave “Faded Memory”; the panoramic “Ancient Trail” on which her reverbed vocal achieves a hypnotic, Mazzy Starr vibe; and her catchiest song, “Broken Glass.” On each of Schindler’s tunes, the mix of voice and instruments is expertly rendered. - Music Connection

"Editor Picks"

Stella Schindler's 2001 debut "New Horizon" was an album to spend plenty of time with, but six years might be enough. Her sweet voice and smart lyrics stood out, but it was the honesty she conveyed that made her bluegrass-tinged folk songs sound so convincing. She works in the same bittersweet-yet-still-uplifting territory as Maria McKee, singing sad songs that will make you smile. "New Horizon" was certainly a tough act to follow, but she's finally getting around to it." (David Malitz) - Washington Post

"DIY Top 12 Picks"

With an emotive delivery that at various points brings to mind Marianne Faithfull and Iris Dement under the spell of eerie gothic gloom, Stella Schindler makes a striking impression on Distant Hum. Her seductive style has a hazy feel that’s elusive yet inviting. She effectively integrates various strands of quiet despair, resulting in an album deliriously imbued with imagery and allusion.

The set begins provocatively with the dirge-like ballad “Ancient Trail” and maintains its sensual sway. However, Schindler hits her stride with “Get Along Joseph,” an upbeat shuffle that suggests vintage Dylan helmed by Gram and Emmylou. --Lee Zimmerman, June 2008
- Performing Songwriter Magazine


-Nonexclusive licensing with PlayNetwork for overhead rotation in Starbucks stores
- "Distant Hum," full length CD (released June 2008); recorded at Silver Sonya, Arlington, VA
- "New Horizon," full length CD (2001); recorded at Inner Ear Studios, Arlington, VA
- "Broken Glass" broadcast
- "Faded Memory" broadcast
- one of Music Connection's Top 25 Unsigned Artists for 2008
-WRUV 90.1 FM Burlington, VT
-WTMD 89.7 FM Towson/Baltimore, MD
-WLUR 91.5 FM Lexington, VA
-WYBF 89.1 FM Cabrini College, PA
-WRKC King's College, Wilkes-Barre, PA
-KSTM 88.9 FM Simpson College, IA
- All songs available on iTunes



Taking cues from the likes of Gillian Welch, Neko Case, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn & Jack White, Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris, Stella wrangles the best that precedent can offer while weaving her own tapestry of pure Americana. Using a variety of instrumental and thematic arrangements, she demonstrates both a range and restraint indicative of a well honed ear. She is able to carefully build sound and texture without ever muddling the track, maintaining a focus that is deliberate but never forced. At times dark and haunting, and at others hopeful and inspiring, Stella offers us a journey through landscapes of life, love and loss, highlighting their inherent beauty while acknowledging and lamenting the flaws in each. To hear her music is to appreciate true regret, and in doing so experience a kind of redemption.

On her latest effort Distant Hum her tools are nothing new, but they certainly stand the test of time. Ever-present is her acoustic guitar, but this time around she is accompanied by some of Washington DC’s finest musicians in the indie/alt country scene. Produced and Engineered by TJ Lipple at Silver Sonya Studio and featuring Adrian Carroll and Mike Pahn (Shortstack, Gypsy Eyes Records), Tom Hnatow and Jesse Elliot (These United States), TJ Lipple (Aloha, Polyvinyl Records), Devin Ocampo (Beauty Pill, Mary Timony Band, Dischord Records), Sean McArdle, and David Durst, this record has the perfect supporting cast. These guys can infuse her affinity for the waltz and the two-step, which must be the way her blood flows, with plenty of variation in nuance and tone to maintain a momentum that carries the listener through each story.

As much as one can appreciate her skill at song-smithery, her undeniable and glaring talent is her voice. She has the vocal prowess to warrant undivided attention, but also displays a warmth of sincerity and vulnerability that can be utterly disarming. The result is a presence that is emotive without feeling melodramatic. She can haunt you with portents of impending doom on tracks like 'Death Valley' and 'Poor Margaret in the Dark', make the boys swoon with 'Walk a While', and shatter your heart with songs like 'Faded Memory' and 'Willow'. It's obvious her work is very personal, and in a way the album is like a high-wire act. We watch her dance the fine line between individual experiences and universal themes, and as we anticipate what her fate will be we invariably wonder about our own.