EP review by Bárbara Almeida

Austin, TX based Stella and The Very Messed have just released a new EP titled ‘Marigold’ as a result of a few months in lockdown which gave Stella Maxwell an unforeseen perspective: with the entire world turned upside down, she was finally ready to write about her personal tragedy, which had felt impossible until she saw it against the backdrop of global suffering. 

The band composed of Maxwell, Dave Hawkins (both former members of Cruiserweight), Chris Nine (Karaoke Apocalypse, Manhole), Donnie Adkinson (The Letters Organize, Whores), Nik Snell (The Cutaway) and Sam Rich (Black Books) didn’t waste any time taking their new perspective neatly condensed into three catchy new songs to Sunbird Studios and thus ‘Marigold’ was born. This new project still somehow resembles Cruiserweight’s quick and to-the-point rock ‘n’ roll executed with high energy and painfully hooky melodies, but there’s a twist — the band has ventured into new territory, experimenting with more complex instrumentation and arrangements, ranging from “dancey” synth-pop to Americana (what a fusion!).

The songs are heartbreakingly personal, pieced together beautifully with plenty of space. The first two tracks convey longing and grief, respectively; “The Feeling” is anchored by a tasteful blend of acoustic and electric guitar, while “Marigold” celebrates wide open space with bare-bones instrumentation and somber overtones. The third track, “Ain’t No Baby” is a tongue-in-cheek palate cleanser with a strong nod to mid-90’s fuzzy guitar rock. 
Of the new song “The Feeling” (my personal favourite), frontwoman Stella Maxwell says, “We were excited to create a song that combines an upbeat groove with sad lyrics. Think ‘Stuck in the Middle with You’ but the lyrics are more ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’.” Here’s a song that will get stuck in your head all day long!

You can stream ‘Marigold’ on Spotify and on Apple Music. Or you can buy the EP on bandcamp and Amazon Music.