Juanita Stein – Snapshot (Nude Records)

Juanita Stein – Snapshot (Nude Records)

Juanita Stein looks back at a life lived while dealing with the loss of her father on single Snapshot, taken from her third solo album of the same name.

Juanita SteinArtist: Juanita Stein
Track: Snapshot
Label: Nude Music
Released: 24 July 2020
Find it: Spotify

Grief is a hard country to navigate through. No matter how much time you have to anticipate, you are always unprepared. Grief is always a shock, as you’re dropped in darkness into the very centre of it and push forward however you can, alone.

The latest single from Juanita Stein, Snapshot, shares a title with her forthcoming third album. The former Howling Bells singer and guitarist wrote and recorded the record in the wake of her father Peter Stein’s death and through the music navigated her own grief as well as reflected his own musical legacy.

She said, “It feels fundamental to understanding the devastation and eerie silence thrust upon us after his sudden death. It was a daunting task to sum up the life of one man such as my father. He was endlessly inspiring, charming, deeply talented and passionately spiritual. He admirably, and at times frustratingly, carried the torch for his own musical career until the very end.”

‘We’re only stardust / A moment in time / We’re only stardust / Words on a page’

With subdued whoops breaking through soft instrumentation, the track reflects perfectly the bittersweetness of swirling and clung to memories as the waves of grief break across you. There is loss but there is a life lived, there is who that person was separately and together with the impact they had on you. There is all that is left behind, this strange country of grief to pick your way through with moments of joy at what was as well as vast plains of absence.

Her brother and former Howling Bells bandmate Joel Stein takes on lead guitar, weaving a brooding and at times forceful energy through the track. Juanita said of bringing in her brother, “I knew only he could harness the exact frenzied energy needed for the songs. Both he and I were both going through something pretty momentous and I wanted to shift that energy into the music.”

Despite the subject the track never feels maudlin but is infused with a love. It is thankful as much as it is given over to the stillness of sadness, the seismic shifting of grief. It makes for a fine tribute, and indicates an album which will deal fearlessly but gently with a subject both personal and universal.

The single is taken from the forthcoming album of the same name, due out 30 October 2020.

Find Juanita Stein: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Spotify

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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