When 12th Street set out this 2014-15 school year to glean the New School for all possible creative talent to showcase in the journal, we were unprepared for the amount of high-caliber submissions flocking our inbox. This particular aural submission, illusory and galloping in its presentation, turned all the heads of the 12th Street staff—again and again until we each were nodding along with concentrated brows to these songs.
The three untitled tracks, submitted by Simone Stevens, an undergraduate at the New School for Public Engagement, are inventively layered and beat-driven; guided by Bridges’ deeply silvery and lilting vocals. Think the pedal-steel-expanse and low whine of Neko Case, mixed with more whimsical whoop and hiccup of Karen O… There is no question we will be hearing more from this artist.
And oh happy days!: there are three additional songs on the Bonsai EP. Purchase it through Stevens’ website. Below, you will find a short Q&A, and a bit of a rumination submitted by Stevens’ on her process in creating these songs.
Simone Stevens: Last May, I released an EP under the project name Bonsai. When someone asked me why I chose it, I found it a little hard to explain, even though I know exactly why I chose it. Bonsai trees are these tiny little islands; worlds. I always imagine stories happening underneath them. They spark the imagination. They are also more difficult to take care of then other plants. It takes great attention and diligence, and if you do that you end up with something beautiful. I feel it is sort of a metaphor for how we treat ourselves. [These] three songs explore taking care of ourselves and others, and being able to stay open to the dreams of others and the ones inside your own self.
12th Street: How long have you been making/writing music? Do you play regular gigs?
Simone Stevens: I’ve been playing and writing and recording for the past twelve years. We play N.Y.C often. All of our shows are listed on our website and Facebook page:
12th Street: Who do you wish your songs to reach? Who is your audience?
SS: Anyone who likes music and digs what we do! That is the demographic.
12th Street: Which one artist are you dying to make music with one day?
SS: Too many! But I would love to write a song with Josh Ritter.