Van Stee is relatively new on the local music circuit, a collaboration between Charlie Van Stee and Josh Kaplan that gathers influences from bands that have capitalized on dark, krautrock-esque anthems (see: Suuns, Bear In Heaven). The façade of “We Are” may be indicative of that same design, but in the end it manages to incorporate a number of styles, each playing off the song’s main riff — and the riff is totally golden.
Of course it doesn’t hurt when the list of backing players includes Andy Mark of the Minneapolis Dub Ensemble, Joey Kantor of Rogue Valley, Lance Conrad of The Alpha Centauri, and the production talents of Jake Hanson who you may know from bands like Halloween, Alaska and Mason Jennings. Furthermore, the recording was done at Humans Win! whose buzz-factor has been on the rise as of late.
But don’t let this track fool you. I foresee a debut from Van Stee which refuses to be pigeonholed into a genre. And I also surmise Van Stee will shelf the typical sonic sensibilities which so many young bands employ and instead challenge listeners to come along for a more adventurous debut. Sometimes you hear a song from an act that seemingly comes out of nowhere, and you tell yourself, “Well, this is going to be a big deal.” I think Van Stee is going to be that big deal come summer-time.
Download “We Are” from our Song of the Day page and subscribe to the podcast while you’re at it.