Akin to a coming-of-age story, Stephanie Cherote moved to New York City where a semi-converted laundromat became her home and an urgency to write instructed a momentous course for the singer/songwriter. She turned inward to mine the field of emotional matter and service it to the materialisation of songs.
Tucked away in East Village cafes, Cherote snatched the city’s quiet mornings to gather lyrics on paper before heading home to interweave her musings with fingerpicked guitar. Whilst working a day-job, she listened to 60s Disney soundtracks; compositions possessed by wild string arrangements and soaked in an otherworldly mystique. These recordings inspired a sound palate for Cherote's album that bridges folk traditions with elaborate orchestral arrangements.
Performing her songs at open mic nights in NYC ensued when; the timely attendance of composer and producer Brian Trahan sparked a collaboration that would provide the depth of field that Stephanie had imagined for the album. “Up until that point I had been stubbornly self-sufficient. I was satisfied writing the string parts with ordinary sample sounds and imagining their potential. I felt hesitant about letting anyone into the process but Brian’s sensitivity to where I was at, and his excitement to colour the bare bones of my songs was a necessary interruption”.
Brian took part in arranging strings for the album as well as the additional embellishments of piano, harp, theremin, and percussion.
Returning to Australia, Stephanie lived remotely in an off-the-grid cabin in Northern NSW. Whilst foraging for words and notes to finish writing the album, she conducted a crowd-funding campaign to garner the money for recording costs. In three months, she raised twenty thousand dollars, scheduled recording time at Australia’s iconic recording studio; The Grove, assembled a twelve-piece orchestra with members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and amassed a captive online audience.
Joined by Brian Trahan & her brother Daniel Cherote (guitar, vocals), Stephanie arrived at The Grove poised and prepared. Carrying the essence of the writing process, raw vocal and guitar performances were captured and then a ferocious orchestral session concluded the seven-day recording schedule.
The album reveals the commentary that simmers within the depths of one’s existential restlessness; chewing on a language that reflects, condemns, disowns, reclaims, and reconciles. Lyrically spun melodies reside within delicate webs of acoustic guitar, backlit by luminous orchestral arrangements that morph like the imaginings of a child. It is a body of work that wears a prominent human stain; punctuated by intuitive nuances and a reaching-for that is deficient in today's vastly airbrushed music. It stretches away from the mainland of palatable music and is a beacon to the perceptive, poetic-spirited listener.
Upon completion of the record, Stephanie signed a worldwide publishing deal with Australia & New Zealand’s leading independent music publishers; Native Tongue Music Publishing.
The album was released in April, 2022 garnering impressive Australian media attention. The Guardian described track five To Be True, "one of the most singular recordings heard in years" and the LP in its entirety "a masterpiece".
released January 4, 2022
All songs written by Stephanie Cherote except All Because Of You, written by Daniel Cherote
Recorded at The Grove, Sydney
Produced by Brian Trahan & Stephanie Cherote
Engineered by Brian Trahan
Assistant Engineering by Callum Howell
Mixed by Robert Muinos at Sauna Studios, Melbourne
Mastered by John Davis at Metropolitan Mastering, London