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Lennon Stella's Album "Three. Two. One." Will Have You in Your Feels
Lennon Stella: You may know her from her viral YouTube cover of Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend" with her younger sister Maisy, or from ABC's hit TV series, Nashville, or from her musical collaborations with The Chainsmokers, Meghan Trainor, Jonas Blue, and Liam Payne. But Stella is here with her debut album Three. Two. One. to make sure you know her as a pop star, first and foremost.
The album is characterized by insightful, emotive lyrics layered over ambient synth-pop tracks. Released through Columbia Records, the album features a collection of 13 electro-pop tracks, including hit singles like the Captain Cuts-produced track, "Kissing Other People," and JP Saxe collaboration, "Golf on TV."
Three. Two. One also features production by Malay, who has worked with artists like Lorde, Frank Ocean, ZAYN, and Alessia Cara, and writing credits from Emily Warren (The Chainsmokers, Melanie Martinez, Dua Lipa) and Caroline Ailin (Dua Lipa, Selena Gomez, Clean Bandit).
Despite collaborating with these heavy-hitting pop creators on the album, Stella has found a way to create a style that is uniquely hers and sets her apart from other artists. Stella's music takes confidence and vulnerability, "cool girl" vibes and heartbreak, sassiness, and raw emotion, transforming them into a distinctive sound that's easily recognizable throughout the album.
"it's not love that keeps us holding on, it's the fear, the fear of being alone..."
Standout tracks include "Fear of Being Alone," where Stella sings about staying in a relationship because she doesn't want to be alone. This track is especially poignant as we've all experienced some sense of 'aloneness" during this quarantine.
The lush track behind "Much too Much" is the perfect accompaniment to the melancholy lyrics that explore the fear of letting go of something you've invested in. "Bend Over Backwards" is sassier than most of the tracks on the album and is one of the few upbeat tunes, featuring feisty lyrics about not fitting in the mold set for you placed over eighties-style pop synths.
"somewhere, I lost some of my innocence and I miss it..."
If there is one song on this album that speaks to my soul, it's "Older Than I Am". A melancholic pop ballad that mourns the loss of childhood and growing up too fast, "Older Than I Am" will resonate with anyone that's had to be an adult before their time. This is one of the few songs on the album that Stella didn't write but is also one she feels deeply connected to. She told Apple Music that "it's one of those things where I feel like it’s so close to me that I don’t even know that I would have been able to write it."
"that's how I know that I'm really moving on because I don't feel guilty kissing other people..."
Other personal favorites include the absolute pop bop, "Kissing Other People," and "Games," which explores the games people play in relationships to prove that they're the least invested party. Both these tracks feature clever, insightful lyrics set to minimalist production, allowing the lyrics to stand on their own.
I'm listening to the album for the nth time as I'm writing this review and every song makes me feel something different each time I hear it. Stella has a talent for reaching deep within your soul and tugging on heartstrings long forgotten. Overall, Three. Two. One. is the pop masterpiece that 2020 doesn't deserve but definitely needs.
Well worth the wait, Lennon, and I can't wait to see what you dream up next!