Laura Stevenson – “Claustrophobe” (Stereogum Premiere)

It doesn’t seem like punk could ever sound lush, but that’s exactly what Laura Stevenson’s new record Cocksure sounds like. It leans away from the folk-rock of 2013’s Wheel and into more angular, sudden riffs that erupt in unexpected surging melodies like the sing-it-back chorus on “Torch Song.” Her deft, defiant lyricism remains intact too; take the opening line to “Jellyfish” for instance — “I’m fucking hideous and spiteful / When I’m left to my devices.” Today we’re premiering the latest track “Claustrophobe,” which growls brightly through angst and disaffection. Perhaps Stevenson spoke best about the impulsive feel of Cocksure:

I felt like over-working it would suck some of the spirit out of the songs… this record needed that spontaneity. Spending so much time editing and second guessing yourself takes all the life out of it.

“Claustrophobe” thrums with the kind of quickness, a polished, punky urgency that soothes even as it seethes. Listen below.

Cocksure is out 10/30 via Don Giovanni. Pre-order it here.