One of the most thoughtful and insightful artists to emerge through last year was London based Stereo Honey. In particular, two of their songs on their wonderful Monuments EP offered deep food for thought as The Bay offered a moving and floating memory of the 21 Morecambe Bay Chinese immigrant cockle pickles who died on the shifting mud flats while cut off by the incoming tides. Angel meanwhile depicted the famous Antony Gormley statue the Angel of the North outside Gateshead as a modern day siren luring a love lost grieving motorist to his death.
It might be imagined it was going to be difficult to top those insightful subjects, but for their new first 2018 track, What Makes A Man. Stereo Honey take inspiration from poet Emma Payne and her dramatic poem The Boxer. The song reflects the modern day crisis of contradiction for the image of masculinity; how to be hard and immovable as men apparently “should be”, while coping with the emotional pressures of life piling on its hurts. One of the next social revolutions needs to be that more men need to realise they don’t have to appear to be one thing on the outside and another thing within.
Even without the striking subject matter, What Makes A Man itself is a carefully constructed confection of beauty. I adore the swirling guitar, rolling drums and the now familiar layered sounds of lead vocalist Pete Restrick’s assured honey laden and beautifully controlled falsetto vocals. This song offers a perfect piece of soulful indie-pop, and a copy could easily be sent on a rocket to outer space to show someone out there just what 2018 looks like.
The new song is released on LAB records, and places Stereo Honey with stable mates of the calibre of Cape Cub, Marsicians, Natives and Aine Cahil. Stereo Honey are equally memorising live, and those in the Yorkshire region shouldn’t miss their live slot at the forthcoming mega Live at Leeds on 5 May 2018. Stereo Honey are also playing at Liverpool Sound City and the Great Escape this summer.
There’s a You Tube video of the song What Makes A Man to watch with groovy graphics from PRIZUM.