Lilting melodies and a sweet vocal tone follow Laura Stevenson's stylized folk-rock through diversions into distortion-fueled indie rock and whimsical folk. After she released her first album, A Record, in 2010, she continued to mix folk and rock arrangements on sets including her fifth LP, 2019's The Big Freeze.
Raised and based in Nassau County, Long Island, Laura Stevenson is the granddaughter of Harry Simeone, an arranger and conductor who was co-credited with writing the Christmas classic "Little Drummer Boy." Simeone's wife, Margaret McCravy, sang for Benny Goodman's Orchestra in the 1930s under the name Margaret McCrae.
By her late teens, Stevenson was already writing her own songs and performing locally when she befriended members of band the Arrogant Sons of Bitches. They temporarily disbanded in 2004, and when lead singer Jeff Rosenstock quickly formed the ska-punk collective Bomb the Music Industry!, Stevenson was enlisted as keyboard player. She continued to play solo shows during her time with the group, with members often contributing to her backing band.
Credited as Laura Stevenson & the Cans, she made her solo recording debut in 2009 on a split EP with BTMI, adding the three-track "Holy Ghost!" later the same year. Her full-length debut, A Record, followed on Asian Man Records in 2010 and included collaborations with Rosenstock. It led to a record deal with the Don Giovanni label, which released her second album, Sit Resist, a year later. The EP Runner followed in March 2013, just a month before the arrival of her third full-length, Wheel. Both releases were taken from the same recording sessions. Wheel was produced and mixed by Kevin McMahon (Titus Andronicus, Real Estate) and included appearances by violinist Rob Moose and brass player Kelly Pratt. Rosenstock produced Stevenson's fourth studio album, Cocksure, released in 2015.
In 2017, Stevenson covered Townes Van Zandt's "Tower Song" for the compilation Don't Stop Now, a fundraiser for the ACLU. The stand-alone songs "The Mystic & the Master" and "Maker of Things" followed in 2018, both inspired by her mother. She returned with the full-length The Big Freeze in March 2019. It was recorded in her childhood home in Long Island with Cocksure engineer Joe Rogers in the producer's chair. ~ Marcy Donelson