Been Stellar's scrappy, sweaty sound wowed NON-COMM - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
2024.05.07 - Been Stellar - NonComm 24

The New York-based band Been Stellar’s recorded music packs a powerful punch, but watching their live set at this year’s NON-COMM was a whole other experience. That’s no slight to their self-titled 2022 EP and several strong singles, but the band truly tore up the stage during their Tuesday night performance. They kicked things off with “Passing Judgement,” an explosive opener and the first single from their upcoming album, Screams From New York, NY. The song begins with a blazing blast of electric guitar, instantly luring listeners into their entrancingly epic indie rock sound. From there on, the band continued to tease the release of their upcoming project with an exhilarating slew of singles.

Conversations around the supposed death of rock are ever-present, but this five-piece act truly puts them to rest, defining a new era of cool. Been Stellar is a true force in our modern musical world, enveloped by AI and electronic instrumentation. The band’s four-song set was an all-too brief, addictively energetic thrill. Their sound was brash, big, and booming; a sonic wall of electrified energy. Frontman Sam Slocum was captivating with his low-toned voice, unleashing words of longing and anguish to the thrilled crowd. Drummer Laila Wayans laid down a bracing backbeat, most evident on “Pumpkin,” with her pummeling snare hits anchoring the band’s sweeping sound. The other members (bassist Nico Brunstein and guitarists Nando Dale and Skyler Knapp) truly brought the spirit, swaying moodily, before moving with a viscerally thrilling energy. Their songs are a perfect fit for the modern moment; amidst chaos, Been Stellar offers forceful, fired-up catharsis. With their scrappy, sweaty style, you can certainly picture the group entertaining basement show crowds but their sound foretells a much grander future involving some massive stages.

That future is fast-approaching: Been Stellar returns to Philly to open for Fontaines D.C. on October 20th at the Fillmore. (Fontaines D.C. plays NON-COMM tomorrow, bringing more riotous rock vibes to World Cafe Live). Screams From New York, NY will be released by Dirty Hit on June 14th, ensuring their shouts will be heard far and wide.

Been Stellar
  • Passing Judgement
  • Sweet
  • Pumpkin
  • I Have The Answer
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