Album Review Juanita Stein – Until the Lights Fade

Juanita Stein - Until the Lights Fade

Largely recorded in Austin, Texas, over the course of a single week.

Rating:

Last year Juanita Stein finally released her debut solo record, ‘America’. It was her finest effort in a long while; much sparser than her last couple of LPs with her band, Howling Bells, it brought her songwriting chops to the fore – the album’s country stylings suited her smoky voice down the ground, and there was a pleasing stylistic diversity, too. That she’s been able to follow it up so quickly suggests a less arduous production process, and sure enough, ‘Until the Lights Fade’ was largely recorded in Austin, Texas, over the course of a single week.

When so much of what Juanita had written for ‘Until the Lights Fade’ clearly involves a folk-rock flavour, it’s a shame it wasn’t fleshed out accordingly. She apparently wasn’t long acquainted with some of the backing band on the record, which feels like a frustrating risk to take, and also means that the highlights are the bluesy, moody closer ‘French Films’, on which Juanita herself does most of the heavy lifting, and lead single ‘Forgiver’, which was co-penned with Brandon Flowers of The Killers. ‘America’ proved she has plenty of solo potential – let’s hope whatever comes next is afforded longer in the incubator. 

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