Ohio Valley-native indie-rock outfit, Stellar Winds (SW), began in the mind of founding member singer-songwriter, guitarist, Justin Turner, as a mere concept in Spring 2011. Over time, that vision grew to include longtime friend, singer, and pianist Steve Neal.
Fast-forward a few more years, and the band has employed dozens of artists, all of whom have had a hand in creating their unique, ambient sound so familiar to SW songs.
Their previous studio projects include, Nights At The Nest, It’s Not Long Before The Sun, and Hands Of Time, all of which now have another sibling. Contributing musicians Justin Turner, Travis Hoard, Steve Neal, John Vensel, and David Buckingham have created the one part Americana, one part folk, one part jazz, and all parts chill, Escape, set to be released on March 18th 2020.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
Opening the EP is the Great Lake Swimmers-esque, Whisper To The Wind, a gentle acoustic melody with a purposeful pace and message. Softly, what we get here, is one man’s declaration of intention…
“Choose the simple life, before it falls away
Pick it while it’s ripe, or it may fall to waste…”
A tender acoustic ballad, Pura Vida (Pure Life), employs the genre’s fundamental basics: an acoustic guitar, light percussion, and a delicious dash of keys to deliver something that feels sacred and heart-centric.
An urgent rhythm, bass-line and keys melody form the focused energy that is, Spider Maze, an abstract observation of the times. It feels honest and essential…
“Why would you lie? We’re already in hell.”
OUR FAVORITE TRACK… Like a thick dose of jazz-infused molasses, Burn Alive, gives the unexpected treat of some smokey sax delivered in a genre which far too often goes unappreciated. That said, if more of the jazz-fusion in the world sounded like this, perhaps we’d be telling a different story. Pay attention however, as the fellas toss in just a dash of Reggae (about 35 seconds) at 2:40. Check it out.
Concluding the album is, You Wish You Left, an angsty tale of personal loss which immediately reminds me to give a massive shout-out to the entire project’s bass-man. This track, as well as all four of its predecessors, are loaded with sound-sculpting low-end fantasticness. Never overbearing. Never too little. Always perfectly subtle, this album would be a completely different animal without these exact low-end notes.
Spirited. Intentional. Light, airy and unique. An absolutely worthy and enjoyable ride. Stellar Winds sophomore effort, Escape, offers an ambient and subtle presentation of their skills as both musicians and songwriters. Their “lazy Susan” approach to band-mates has paid off in full, producing an enjoyably eclectic smearing of tones and influences, all of which have found a synchronistic harmony with eachother. Fans of this brand of dynamic subtlety—which only occurs as the result of skilled acoustic technicians—will likely find a refreshing respite here.
Great Lake Swimmers meets Mark Winters…
BELOW: Listen to Stellar Winds’ EP, Escape, and connect with their social media platforms. Please support Stellar Winds by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!