Listen: ‘Forgiver’ by Juanita Stein

Juanita Stein, the Howling Bells frontwoman turned solo artist, will release a brand new single, Forgiver on 13th April (impacts 1 June). The single was co-written and produced by Brandon Flowers while Juanita was on tour with The Killers in Northern Europe this February.
Forgiver is the first taster of Stein’s upcoming second album, Until The Lights Fade, which will be released by Nude Records on 31st August. Says Stein of the song, “I remember wanting it to feel swaggering and wise, just like she is in the song. She a knowing seductress and he an endearing fool, completely at her mercy. It’s only once we get to the chorus that she shows any kind of vulnerability.”

“I’d written the bones of the song a while ago and began working on it again on the EU leg of the Killers tour. I’d managed to get Brandon to hear the song as was, with the intention of seeing if he could maybe help take it somewhere, and he ended up not only co-writing, but also producing the track, which we were able to record backstage during those last few days on the road.  I loved the spontaneity of the recording. As with the album itself, everything unfolded very instinctively.”
Until The Lights Fade
Juanita Stein’s second solo album arrives less than a year after her first, ‘America’, saw her exploring the iconography and cultural landscapes of a country that had always fascinated her from afar. Yet, while ’Until The Lights Fade’ is cut from the same musical cloth as its predecessor – the crepuscular twang of bar-room guitars, the keening romanticism of its melodies, the sparseness and simplicity of its arrangements – the album’s ten songs are concerned with thoughts, feelings, stories and characters rooted far closer to home.
“I feel like the two albums are different sides of the same coin,” Stein explains. “If ‘America’ was the starting point of a journey – the musical equivalent of me spreading my wings, but also treading carefully, trying to figure myself out having come from such an intense period of camaraderie in the band – then this record is me starting to gain a bit more traction, feeling more confident in where I’m coming from and what it is I’m doing.”
When the opportunity arose late last year to spend a week in Austin, Texas with the producer Stuart Sikes (Cat Power, White Stripes, Loretta Lynn), Stein explains, “I just grabbed it. When you reach a certain point in life and moments like that appear, you have to go with it. Up til now, everything I’ve done has always been planned and laboured over, but this album was very impromptu, very spur of the moment – a couple of the musicians I was working with I had only met for the first time that week. It was like nothing I’d ever done before.”
This more spur of the moment approach also enabled the late inclusion on the album of Forgiver. Much like the week she spent in Austin, the song – recorded during the downtime between shows in The Killers’ mobile studio – was another of those serendipitous moments that Stein felt compelled to make the most of, and the swaggering, streetwise end result once again validates those instincts.
Following her recent dates with The Killers and a run that saw her back in Austin for SxSW, Stein now returns to the UK for a tour with Bryan Ferry, before a summer of festivals including Latitude, Green Man and the newly launched Black Deer, around the new album release. Stein plays:
13th     April    Manchester, Apollo (with Bryan Ferry)
15th     April    Newcastle, City Hall (with Bryan Ferry)
17th     April    Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall (with Bryan Ferry)
18th     April    Glasgow, Poetry Club (Headline Show)
19th     April    Edinburgh, Usher Hall (with Bryan Ferry)
21st     April    Dublin, Olympia (with Bryan Ferry)
22nd    April    Dublin, East Side Tavern (Headline Show)
23rd     April    Belfast, Waterfront (with Bryan Ferry)
25th     April    Bristol, Colton Hall (with Bryan Ferry)
27th     April    Oxford, New Theatre (with Bryan Ferry)
29th     April    Birmingham, Symphony Hall (with Bryan Ferry)
1st       May     London, Palladium (with Bryan Ferry)
3rd       May     London, Eventim Apollo (with Bryan Ferry)
24th     June     Black Deer Festival, Tunbridge Wells
8th       July      TRNSMT Festival, Glasgow
14th     July      Latitude Festival, Southwold
20th     July      Spain, Benicassim Festival
24th     July      Finland, Helsinki Arena (with The Killers)
26th     July      Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Rockhal (with The Killers)
18th     August Green Man Festival, Crickhowell
*****
WHAT PEOPLE SAID ABOUT “AMERICA”
“Stein sounds like she’s coming of age on this album, addressing both her past and her future, and mostly liking what she sees” – Q
A lovingly crafted paean to Americana of all stripes, from Southern Gothic country to swooning Lynchian moods. Stein’s silky voice has long deserved arrangements as sumptuous.”  – Uncut
“With an utterly flawless, heart-twisting vocal throughout, ‘America’ spins tales of sorrow and betrayal and turns them into something exquisite.” – DIY ****
“It’s the voice that grabs you… A wonderfully lucid piece of songwriting, emotion lingering on each note” – Clash
“A beautifully observed and evocative ode to America… Stein is the powerfully creative master of her art” Loud and Quiet
“A fab, dreamy journey into the dark heart of country-noir”  The Sunday Times