The core characteristic of New York rock has always been a raucous, youthful, devil-may-care energy—stumbling around the Lower East Side at 4 AM, or having a drunken conversation on an L train heading east. And it’s a description that aptly fits Been Stellar.
“JFK,” the newest single by the five piece, is an ode to fleeting conversations and instant connections which might feel significant, but are rendered null—meaningless small talk by the next moment. It’s an anthem for anyone whose ever prescribed importance in a one sided capacity, an encapsulation of the sobering realization that the person you’re talking to might not vibe with you as much as you vibe with them.
Much like their last single, “Everyone Smokes in the City,” the crux of Been Stellar’s artistry comes from the reactions one has when first moving to an alien, urban locale, a place where everyone moves a mile a minute and there’s a palpable lack of sincerity in the way people interact with one another. While some might be quick to chalk up Stellar’s testament as rural naivety (they’re recent transplants from Michigan), their honest reactions to this new environment helps remind listeners of our mutual humanity, even in a big city, against percussive Fender plucking and explosively raw vocals.
Been Stellar will play City Winery on December 1st.