ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Stella Luce – Bleed

By: Jeremy Fleischer

4 out of 5 STARS

In the future, when music historians write about the last 10 years of Northern Colorado music, they will list Stella Luce as one of the most important. What is meant by “important”? Well, music history is full of bands whose influence is greater than its visibility or perceived popularity, and Stella Luce is one of these bands.

The band’s fierce determination to create albums, like the recently released Bleed, with bold artistry and a unique aesthetic surely inspires other musicians to pursue their art without feeling tethered to popular notions. This is not to say Stella Luce aren’t popular; they are. But they make music that satisfies them without concern for the masses. And damn, this album is a handful. Certain things listeners have come to expect from a Stella Luce album, like tons of viola and Eastern European sounds, for instance, are downplayed. This time around the band takes a more rock/punk turn, and it is a pure joy to hear. Whereas in the past viola player and vocalist Alana Rolfe comprised much of the copyrighted Stella Luce sound, this iteration is much more of an ensemble, with all players on board. She still shines like the star she is, but sharing the spotlight presents a better-rounded band.

With bands like Stella Luce, it’s often fruitless to compare one release with another, but Bleed is a special kind of listening pleasure amongst the catalogue. The songs are playfully dark and twisted, and the music is packed with left turns and stylized surprises. Bleed pulses with an artsy hard rock energy I can’t wait to see live and solidifies the band’s status in the Colorado music scene.