Stacy Antonel

REVIEW: Stacy Antonel “Always the Outsider”


Stacy Antonel – Always the Outsider

Nashville-based vocalist Stacy Antonel, despite having a country sound is appealingly individualistic. She doesn’t dip deep enough into C&W twang, retro, old-school traditions to render her homespun. But she does have an attractive style that’s intriguing. Rooted in some classical country — she successfully dissolves her vintage bullion into her sweet steamy pot of serious country music & lyrics. Her tonality will recall Kate Bush & Jane Siberry — had they slipped into a country mode. If that were even possible.

“Kicking and Screaming,” is a challenging vocal. Stacy doesn’t stay in her lane on the musical highway & despite the dependable country musicians she veers off into exciting areas. Diverse both in her contemporary excursions or when falling back deep into 1940s middle-of-the-road nightclub notions. Stacy is a handful…rather, an earful.

Produced by Ben Moore (B3 organ) the 12-cut, 35-minute debut Always the Outsider (Drops June 17–Independent) is an impressive collection. Her sharp turns on the long lonesome highway are the things James Dean would’ve found interesting in a woman. Vocally she pushes the borders, walks the edge & tip-toes across the precipice & her vocals soar each time. She balances a sharp knife on the tip of her nose, pokes the bee hive, pushes the envelope & winks at the bully.

“Planetary Heartache,” could’ve been a simple novelty-oriented ballad. But Stacy acrobatically sings the lyric expressively. Picking up the tempo on “Heartbroken Tomorrow” the lyrics are not typical country corn-pone.

“Absent Captain,” is wonderfully recorded. She isn’t Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, or Dolly. The songs she designs sound like they’re from another era & decorated with a modern touch. It’s all in how she twists & turns the tunes into lite-surreal southern gothic humid tales. Eyes move in the portrait & candles rise off the table – but I’m not talking ghosts, I’m suggesting the ability to expect the unexpected, not everything appears to be as it seems.

“Not Looking For Love,” may be a little too mainstream, commercial for this set, but it is performed well. Not every shot is whiskey – some are iced tea with rum. Nothing you’d ever send back.

The CD front cover (image by Lindsey Patkos) is a perfect representation of her music. Not so the interior. This kind of music requires an image to support the repertoire. Good mysterious front cover. Then she goes all Katrina & the Waves “Walking on Sunshine,” on the inside. Stacy needs an image. Lucinda Williams has it, Patti Smith too — but Sheryl Crow lost it. This is important in country music. A brand — Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Dolly, Merle & Waylon – image goes with the songs. She is quite a talent.

Players – Toby Caldwell & Matt Lynott (drums), Sam Hunt (guitar), Eddie Lange (pedal steel), Jason Littlefield, Harley Magsino & Joe Reed (bass), Steve Peavey (banjo/baritone guitar/acoustic guitar/mandolin), Doug Pettibone (pedal steel/acoustic guitar) & Paul Sgroi (electric & acoustic guitars).

Available @ Bandcamp +

Find our premiere here: Song Premiere: Stacy Antonel “Kicking and Screaming

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