By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
The ominous, sugary whorl of "Builds" is the album's pinnacle. As the violin sweeps and frantic snare slowly gather propulsion, the three singers each trade off phrases, with Minne conjuring aerial distress: "The birds fell right into us / Strength of the metal is dust / A flock from a field / These wings feel wrong." She says the song is partly inspired by a plane crash that was caused by a collision with a flock of birds — reinforced steel humanity failing against nature in numbers.
"We have all these ways of being that we're still fumbling around with, though we have all this shit that is potentially great," Minne says.
The album's triumphant finale, "Something's Loose," pairs swinging organ with a sweet gang vocal sing-along chorus vamping on a mild Thin Lizzy-like melody. Diarra says the song had been initially written years ago for a previous band and it was the one of the few tracks that didn't get bogged down by the meticulous studio process. "It was the easiest one to record live and do the vocal takes all in one day," he says. "It captures something that would get lost if you tried to micromanage it, which happened a lot."
As the song fades out, the singers can be heard laughing and ad-libbing into the mic, giving it the feel of a celebratory curtain call. "It was kind of a release," Minne says. "That's one of the best ones on the album."
Nearly every member of this tireless unit makes his or her living from music, be it cover band gigs, private lessons, or church music direction. The members all have a slew of solo projects and side bands. But after finally seeing the end of a three-year struggle, will Stellacutta gather their poise and gift themselves a less time-intensive undertaking? Apparently not.
"We've actually entertained the idea of doing a double disc, a huge record, mostly to get all this existing material out of the way," Diarra says.