Stina Marie Claire is the current alias of Stina Tweeddale, of Honeyblood, and although the Honeyblood name may or may not be resurrected in future, this EP is four tracks recorded under lockdown, and the name obviously references the period of recording – it may yet be renamed “of a terrible 18 months, or more…” but hopefully not.
Previously-reviewed and excellent ‘The Human Condition‘ opens the EP, swiftly followed by ‘Just Cause You’re Lonely’ – which in fact sounds more like previous Honeyblood tracks. With its strummed guitar and Stina’s distinctive and glorious vocals, it’s a song of heartbreak and regrets… very affecting, and although it is without percussion, it fair thrums along and ends with some out-there vocal overdubs and electronic effects… really quite something.
Souvenir’ is another beatless but guitar-led number – with some subtle piano. There are some interesting sonic dynamics here, the middle section fading into the distance in the mix before coming back stronger than ever. It is another song of heartbreak and angst, beautiful in its delivery and again with double-tracked vocals…
The last track is a cover of ’80s proto-indie darlings (did they manage more than one album?) The Sundays’ best-known track ‘Here’s Where the Story Ends’. BM is old enough to have caught the last couple of songs by The Sundays supporting Throwing Muses at Glasgow QMU back in, christ, 1986 or thereabouts… so it brings back a few memories… Stina does this somewhat overlooked track justice here, with a minimalist keyboard and drum machine accompaniment, and her voice soars when it needs to…. Who knows what kind of terrible year The Sundays had back in the 1980s, but this rendition is relevant and appropriate – a great cover and a great way to close this fine quartet of songs.