Known as the singer/songwriter for Howling Bells, Juanita Stein recorded her exquisite debut solo album America with Gus Seyffert (Beck, Ryan Adams) in Los Angeles, CA. Stein says, "This record is an ode to the dark heart of America. Of times gone and times to come. Dusty trails, a whimsical 50s suburbia and the haze of the 1960s. I've forever idealised American life – growing up in Australia we were fed the American dream through film and television. The dichotomy between what was real and a dream is forever intriguing to me. The music of Roy Orbison, Dusty Springfield, Lee and Nancy and Patsy Cline all informed my musical sensibilities. They opened up this wide screen universe for me."
An evocative and beautiful record, Stein's honeyed voice weaves stories of heartbreak and optimism, from the unmistakably Western-influenced lead single "Dark Horse," to the moody love song, "Cry." Opener "Florence" is inspired by a real-life photograph by Dorothea Langue, taken during the Great Depression, of the eponymous Florence Owens Thompson, a tale of a struggle for themselves and their children that's as relevant to women of the world today as it ever was. The songs on the LP tell tales of characters real and imagined, Stein's own experiences woven amongst them.
Stein formed Howling Bells with her brother, Joel, and friends when they moved to London together in 2004. Four acclaimed albums followed, along with headline tours and festival shows around the world, and huge support dates including several US tours with Coldplay and The Killers. A break from Howling Bells around the arrival of her first child saw the first shoots of her solo work start to emerge, and now we find ourselves here. America, an unpredictable place, forever bound up in a uniquely widescreen hope and romance.