I Can’t Resist
When Laura Stevenson’s high-pitched voice crept into Sit Resist opener “Halloween Pts. 1 & 2”, you might expect to meet a Regina Spektor wannabe. You might expect a generic sort of quirkiness, the type of music being snapped up for things like Kindle commercials. I might not expect to be wowed—but just wait. Laura Stevenson and the Cans have created something quite different with Sit Resist, their sophomore LP and debut with Don Giovanni Records. They’ve produced a charming, lively, and original album, in which neither side of the equation—Laura or her Cans—is quite what you’d expect.
Armed with everything from accordions to trombones to xylophones, the Cans match Laura’s vivacity and temper her sweetness. They turn their five-to-eight-piece ensemble into the sort of band that gleefully defies categorization, blurring distinctions between folk, rock, and punk.
Perhaps because of her own punk roots, Laura herself moves beyond the sort of precious folk that would be a natural fit for her high, slightly nasal voice. She expertly walks the line on songs like “The Healthy One,” which grows from playful romp to passionate cry as her grim topic (watching loved ones perish from disease) sinks in. Others sidestep folk entirely, even though they contain traditional folk instruments. The powerful “8:08” is a gripping rock number that stretches Laura’s voice in both range and emotion.
Sit Resist showcases the band’s stylistic range, yet still manages to feel cohesive. Each song is unmistakably theirs; they’ve left their marker without being bogged down by a signature style. Laura Stevenson and the Cans are confident, creative, and unexpected—and I expect them to rise to the top.