27 September 2023

Stopped Wishing I was Somewhere Else

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By The Little Stevies, Love Your Records/MGM Distribution 2019.

Some of you may have seen the Little Stevies on ABC Breakfast TV recently spruiking their latest CD of children’s songs under their alternative band name Teeny Tiny Stevies.

The Little Stevies are sisters Sibylla and Bethany Stephen who write the songs and sing and play guitars and ukulele.

They are augmented by band members Cliff Bowden (vocals, electric guitar, and keys), Simon Rabl (bass and piano), and Justin Olsson on drums and percussion.

The band has been around the music scene since being featured in Triple J’s 2006 ‘Next Crop’ on the back of the success of their first EP, Grow Up.

They’ve toured extensively throughout Australia and North America and have so far released nine albums of songs, two of which, Useful Songs For Little People and Helpful Songs For Little People were released as the Teeny Tiny Stevies.

Motherhood has opened up a whole new musical adventure for the sisters.

The Little Stevies were one of the most popular acts at this year’s National Folk Festival, which was held in Canberra, although they are not exclusively folk musicians.

Their music has variously been described as alt/pop, folk/pop, and indie, although I’d say that Stopped Wishing I Was Somewhere Else falls neatly into folk music territory.

The 11 tracks on this album come across as deeply personal vignettes about life and relationships, with song titles such as Break My Heart, The Truth, Rest of My Days, Caught Your Lie, Without Asking Me, etc. seeming to provide insights into the lives of the writers.

The production on this album is paired back with the emphasis being squarely placed upon the lyric content.

Acoustic guitars predominate with the other band members providing colour and highlights.

Sibylla and Bethany are wonderful songwriters and they also create delightful harmonies.

It’s not uncommon for siblings to do this but Sib and Beth are tremendous.

There are some good clips of the girls on YouTube, particularly their rendition of Paul Simon’s Graceland with Gotye.

It’s probably one of the best covers I’ve witnessed.

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