Stoney: More Than Animals
Listening to Stoney‘s new full-length album More Than Animals, what is most impressive is that practically everything was written and performed by just one guy. Of course, that’s not the most uncommon thing in music, but the sheer breadth of styles and sounds found on the album make it a particularly shocking fact. After moving from the U.K. to Austin for “sunshine and change,” Mark Stoney continued to make a name for himself with his band Bobby Jealousy, a collaboration between Stoney, Seth Gibbs, and Sabrina Ellis. But it’s his return to making music on his own that allows him to spread his wings. More Than Animals is at once challenging and impossibly catchy.
The album opens with lush strings before giving way to a near-perfect pop song, “Sweet Release.” And it’s those softer, sweeter songs like “We Belong” and “Wanderlust” that show Stoney’s true songwriting talent. Throughout the rest of the album, we get an eclectic mix of hard rock, blues-inflected melodies, and anthemic indie masterpieces like “Defiantly Loved.” No matter what the style, however, Stoney and co-producers C.J Eiriksson (U2, Blue October) and Warren Huart (Aerosmith, The Thrills, Hot Hot Heat) show a mastery for dense but balanced arrangements. The heavier songs are filled to the brim with sounds while the other songs get stripped down, leaving room to breathe and allowing the album a perfect flow.
More Than Animals undoubtedly shows off Stoney’s dynamic songwriting and personality driven performances. But with so much going on, it may turn off some listeners who prefer a more homogeneous sound.
More Than Animals is available to stream or buy on Bandcamp now, so be sure to check it out!
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