When we invited Laura Stevenson to record a session with us, we had already heard her latest, greatest, and third album, Wheel. What impressed us was not just the obvious musical growth from her previous two releases, but also the sincere emotional wallop that Wheel packs with each listen. In terms of cohesiveness, 2011’s Sit Resist is Elmer’s, Wheel is superglue, but cohesion does not have to mean two-dimensional. For these set of songs, we find Stevenson and her band (formerly the Cans) creating a dynamic backdrop for the singer’s equally active voice. The songs really do run the gamut from contemporary folk-rock to brash pop-punk, from achingly quiet bedroom confessionals to anthemic hooks and choruses. Each track offers something freshly imaginative and genuinely sincere – you can tell Stevenson is throwing restraint to the wind. It’s funny to note that her last record is titled Sit, Resist, a very passive pair of verbs, while Wheel evokes movement and motion. Stevenson is going forward as an artist and a person – these songs are her breadcrumbs on the path.
For her Folkadelphia Session, recorded on April 19th, Stevenson entered the studio by her lonesome, leaving her Can band for a brief rest before heading over to Milkboy Philly for the first show of their tour. Solo and stripped-down, she draws out the seriously stirring sentiments of her songs.