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Laura Stevenson, 'State'

Some of Laura Stevenson's songs are as delicate as soap bubbles; others hit like sledgehammers. In "State," the first single from Stevenson's self-titled sixth album (due out August 6), she pulls off both tricks simultaneously. Equally adept at grungy rock and finely detailed folk music — last year, just before the pandemic, she even released an exquisite Tiny Desk concert with a string section — Stevenson leans hard on quiet-loud-quiet dynamics throughout "State," which lets dreamy tenderness and wall-of-sound catharsis orbit each other like a binary star.

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