In our never-ending quest to get the word out and to let you know music isn’t dead, it’s very much alive – it’s just COVID isn’t helping matters any, here’s what I hope will be a new series of sessions coming from the stage at The Louisiana, one of the best known venues in Bristol UK. A veritable hotbed of new talent, The Louisiana, run by my old pal and early-on cheering section for Past Daily, Mig Schillace, puts together a roster of new-up-and-coming talent and is doing his bit to put Bristol on the musical map of new and interesting activity.
Tonight it’s STANLÆY in a stripped down session from the stage at The Louisiana.
Here’s a word or two from STANLÆY’S website:
STANLÆY is the brain child and alter-ego of musician, producer, artist, and composer Bethany Clare Mistlebrook Stenning where Bethany composes music both as a solo artist, and collaborating with other musicians / a live band to bring the music to a live environment. Fuelled by collaboration, landscapes (internal and external), cross-pollination and the synergy between the organic and the synthetic, Bethany is an unstoppable force of nature of multi-disciplinary form.
In just 3 short years, STANLÆY has evolved from a confused solitary musician perusing the streets of Paris to Bethany’s role as a highly respected producer, composer and performer in Bristol. Her music has most recently appeared on BBC radio 6, BBC Bristol, BBC Introducing in the West, RTE Radio, British Airwaves Next Big Thing, and been hailed by local press; being described as “Joanna Newsom, Bjork and Janelle Monae wrapped into one woodland sprite.” – Monolith Cocktail.
Bethany hugely values melding her music with visual elements. This manifests itself in her impressive array of music videos, and visuals for both STANLÆY and other local bands / pals such as Binbag Wisdom’s latest narrative music video. In live performance, this manifests itself in Bethany’s love for inviting physical and theatrical performance into the gig environment: notably, silver spirit guides escorting lost souls to their seats, and a drunk Bristolian elf exploring interactive stories with the audience (Alison Campbell).
STANLÆY’s first full album The Human Project is an audio-visual highly experimental beguiling soundscape exploring the concept of elements through Bethany’s creation of an alternative pastoral fairytale world. STANLÆY’s second, equally critically acclaimed solo EP, Rif, acts as a fragmented snapshot of Stenning’s time while living in Rif, a small town where Bethany lived alone & wrote the EP. It has been illuminated as “a spellbinding concoction of outer-worldly electronics, entrancing folk melodies and classical arrangements that is an engaging listening experience” – Twisted Soul Music. The over arching theme: STANLÆY’s music open heartedly and intimately invites listeners into Bethany’s unique and beautifully odd inner sonic universe.
Bethany works closely with other musicians when performing, recording and writing music within STANLÆY. Bethany’s sonic siblings, and live line-up is currently a quintet led by Bethany Stenning (vocals, electric guitar) with the incredible Ben Holyoake (Bass), Naomi Hill (violin), Alun Elliot-Williams (electric guitar) and Joe Milkinson (kit). Their most recent performances have been at both the noteworthy Southbank Centre in London as part of Karim Kamar’s live poetry and music night, and performing with Ishmael Ensemble as part of their Round Up series (following a line-up of Yazz Ahmed, Alabaster DePlume, Waldo’s Gift and Yama Warashi). Hailed top of the list for The Standard’s (London) recommendations of upcoming acts to watch at Glastonbury Festival, and Pink Wafers Best of Bristol bands – this is a group of artists/performers to keep an eye out for.
The Louisiana is doing live sessions practically every day, it’s all new and well-worth investigating. Here is their YouTube page: The Louisiana
Stay tuned. We’re going to try and do one every weekend. Huge thanks to Mig – always with good ideas – always with amazing taste in music.