15 February 2022 (released)
28 February 2022
Laidback shuffles and soulful reflections on our forays, foibles, and fervours define the debut record from singer-songwriter Stel Furet. On human nature machine, the artist takes the heartland Americana feel spawned from his roots in rural Ohio and infuses it with the West Coast chill of his new digs in Santa Cruz California. Each song is unhurried, Furet watching patiently as the road unfolds in front of him. Threads of various classic rock icons weave their way through his sound with blues and gospel elements shaping certain songs when called upon. The EP is made for a lazy Sunday drive down the highway, getting lost for a few hours before finding your way home at sunset.
Those wistful blues that seem to hit everyone three years into their thirties are the subject of the album's opening track '33 1/2'. A sloughing drum fill precedes the drop of sighing piano and guitar chords as Furet proclaims “I'm thirty-three and a half and I feel like I'm fadin'/Spent the day walking alone and I'm tired of feeling that I'm on my own/And I'm getting in my own way”. The singer compares his personal cycles to a record spinning with a soulful croon. The odd mix of exhaustion and a renewed appreciation for life is similar to Billy Corgan's ballad on the subject, 'Thirty-Three'.
'just for me' employs milky wah guitar for a slow burn blues ode to the sneaky smile of a sexy paramour. 'chelsea' reveals Furet's love of Pink Floyd with a minor to major 4th progression which is echoed on electric piano. Layered with Gilmour-like guitar flourishes, the song has many of the markers of Dark Side opener 'Breathe'. The song sits at that perfect swaying tempo for deep contemplation.
Balladeer piano and lyrics on an idyllic homestead destination are supported by airy female backups on 'next tuesday'. Furet's vocals briefly hit a soaring note in the realm of Thom Yorke on those early Radiohead records. The closer 'the mirror' embraces the gospel sound of piano and choir. Furet finds enlightenment in seeing through to the intrinsic parts of his personality. He duets beautifully with singer Jenn Grinels to wrap the album on a note of fulfilled clarity.
Furet's debut EP is a strong collection of patient touchstone tracks. His easy-going voice is matched by tasteful playing and “Simple Man wise” lyrics about finding the important things and going after them. An album for that mid-thirties personal reassessment.