Brie Stoner is no stranger to harmonizing tensions, whether in creating haunting choir-like layers of vocals in her songs or in her defiance of being defined by any singular identity. Born American but growing up in Madrid, Spain, Brie has been a coincidence of languages, cultures, and creative expressions her whole life – a confluence that has yielded a unique sonic sensibility and bilingual songwriting style that at times evokes the sexy, dreamy crooning of 90s muse Mazzy Star, and at others the 70s rock and roll flavor of Neil Young and Fleetwood Mac.
As a late teenager, her voice and songwriting capabilities caught the attention of the late Jay Bennett of Wilco. The surge of energy from recording sessions with her mentor sent her deeper into the music scene as she moved to Los Angeles, playing at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, opening for artists like Sia and Katy Perry. But the City of Angels and its perpetually perky climate began to wear on Stoner, who craved depth and rootedness in her creative development.
After moving to Michigan, Stoner continued her musical career, landing placements in national ads for Victoria’s Secret and shows like Orange is The New Black. But her quest for meaning, as she juggled motherhood, music, and divorce, launched her into a season of mystical and spiritual exploration, eventually landing her as a co-host on the hit podcast Another Name for Everything with Richard Rohr, which boasted over 4 million listeners. Stoner went on to launch her own podcast, Unknowing, to explore the intersections of courage and creativity as an artist, musician, and maker. But it was the pandemic’s isolation that ultimately drove her back to her guitar and piano, writing songs in Spanish, French, and English. In her own words, it permitted her to finally come home to herself as being more than one thing: “Spanish and American, academic and artistic, a mother and a lover, spiritual and fleshy. All of these expressions are me, and it felt good to finally bring all these different parts of me into harmonic conversation on this record.”
Her new album Me Veo comes out later this year, offering a window into Stoner’s studied experience of sensuality, connection, and transformation across continents, time, and states of mind. Produced by friend and collaborator David VanderVelde (Father John Misty), each song presents a sultry and finessed expression of precious human experience that certifies her not only as a master craftswoman but as a harbinger of hope for creative transcendence—or, as she puts it, “letting go of what has been to make room for what could be.”
In the lead-up to the release of Me Veo, Stoner’s single “Loved Me Like A Weapon” reckons the agony and heartbreak of escaping gaslit relationships—whether intimate or institutional. Over a dreamscape of synths, rolling guitars, and muted drums, she sighs out a reluctant realization of futility. Stoner says, “I think much of the feminine experience has been trained to question and devalue our own inherent instincts and truth…we are constantly being gaslit, or if not, we’ve internalized that gaslighting until we do it to ourselves.” Bookending the song with surrenders in Spanish, she engages all aspects of her life in the search for peace after the emotional trauma.
In the music video for “Loved Me Like A Weapon,” co-directed by Logan Zilmer, we discover Stoner as a hired assassin attempting to flee the blackmail of her handlers. She appears as they’d like her to see her: a sort of femme fatale thrashing through a French New Wave nightmare. Attempting any way she can to disguise or deceit her way out, she roils in what Stoner identifies as “the anguish of the all too familiar feminine experience of being bribed into silence or even targeted as a problem.” Our assassin ends up the victim of an attempt on her life, fallen and bleeding out in the hall of mirrors of her mind.
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