Santa Cruz, California-based singer-songwriter Stel Furet recently released his debut conceptual EP, human nature machine, embracing an array of topics such as coming of age, falling in love, heartbreak, hope, and contemplation.
Stel explains, ”’human nature machine’ is a telling of my journey and I think most people can relate to it. It’s full of imagery meant to be inspiring and thought-provoking.”
He goes on, adding, “I haven’t quite put it into words yet, but I believe the EP is about the relationship we have with ourselves and how that relationship carries us through the world. How human nature drives us relentlessly forward as a collective machine.”
Appearing on the EP are Stel Furet (vocals, guitars, keys), John O’Reilly Jr. (drums), Ed Kornhouser (keys), Jenn Grinels (additional vocals), and Jason Littlefield (bass).
While growing up on a farm in Ohio, Stel listened to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, The Beatles’ White Album, Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush, and Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. All of which influenced him in various ways.
Stel says, “I don’t know that I’ve listened to any of those over the past 15 years, but you can still hear a bit of all of them on ‘human nature machine.’”
Comprising five tracks, the EP begins with “33 ½,” opening on tight, blues-flavored guitars riding a mid-tempo rhythm made up of potent percussion and a vibrating bassline. Stel’s voice exudes melancholic timbres, rife with subtle inflections.
A low-slung oozing organ gives “just for me” simmering blues savors, while delicious guitar imbues the tune with unctuous tones. At once seductive and oh so sensuous, “just for me” drips with slo-mo erogenous blues.
Akin to floating, “Chelsea” meanders on voluptuous harmonics, highlighted by a sulking guitar. Whereas “next tuesday” rolls out on a graceful piano as Stel infuses the lyrics with lingering, wistful tones. Gospel-like harmonies round out the tune, giving it luscious glowing hues.
The final track, “the mirror,” features a lonely piano topped by Stel’s poignant vocals and opulent suffusing harmonies. This might be the best track on an all-around wonderful EP.