Juanita Stein is best known as the singer for Australia’s Howling Bells, but on her solo debut, she goes full-on American country. Being a foreigner perhaps gives her a special appreciation of American country music, with its relaxed ways.
Note that America is very much a country songstress record, cowgirl getting the blues, right from the start with country woman trot “Florence”. Stein is able to do the sweet, relaxed carry and sway of modern country/folk on such pieces as “Dark Horse” and “Stargazer”. But there is also lounge loss, reminiscent of Nicole Atkins (QRO spotlight on), back-to-back with “Someone Else’s Dime” and “It’s All Wrong”. Meanwhile, there is the more country-twang resign on “Cold Comfort”, before the swaying pass through the country on the title track/closer.
There are a lot of lady country singer/songwriters right here in the ol’ U. S. of A., but Juanita Stein nicely adds to that tradition.