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Stacy Gabel’s “Stir Crazy”

Pandemic pop is absolutely a thing in 2020, and if you didn’t already know this, a video like Stacy Gabel’s “Stir Crazy” is probably going to bring you up to speed pretty quickly. While a lot of artists have found themselves bogged down by a number of angels within the quarantine culture we’ve been living in throughout the majority of the year, Gabel is getting on with her career and focusing on the most endearing elements of her sound in a bid to evolve and emerge in 2021 even more skilled and talented than she was prior, and her new single and its video are evidence of as much. 

I really like the plush feel of the strings in “Stir Crazy,” and despite the title of the track, there’s scarcely a moment in its nearly four minutes of running time that feels even somewhat closed-in or suffocating. There’s a fantastically open, flowing feel to the guitar parts that brightens up the lyrics like nothing else could have, and rather than drowning the backend with a lot of bass and drums, Gabel stayed efficient with the structure of the arrangement and thus prevents the spotlight from straying away from her own emittances. 

Though the music video for this single follows a rather familiar formula for those of us who have been keeping with the beat of the American and international undergrounds in 2020, it’s still a really nice complement to the source material that isn’t overthought on the part of its creator in any way. Even with the colorful attributes it sports, the simplistic narrative behind the composition stays intact and actually gets a second life through the presentation of the lyrics in this setting. It’s an affirmation of her minimalistic wit which, at least to a critic like myself, is both droll and illustrates her depth in the most humble of fashions imaginable. 

The harmonies in “Stir Crazy” are perhaps the biggest – even if the only – element of true excess here, but they’re necessary to facilitate the catharsis on the other end of the hook as Gabel winds it up for a grand pitch midway through the song’s first act. She’s got so much energy behind her whether she’s ascending a verse or simply straddling the beat to create a little extended release in a hook, and if critics weren’t already talking about her dexterity in the studio, I think a cut like this will have them doing just that and more soon. 

If you’re into cut and dry pop that doesn’t skimp out on a hearty melodic center where and when it counts, I would be lying if I told you “Stir Crazy” didn’t appear to have been made with you in mind. Stacy Gabel is a rockstar of the indie pop genre in this release, and with the proper exposure I think a slice of material like “Stir Crazy” could go a long ways towards bringing her some of that highly-coveted mainstream fame and adulation she’s been working so hard to score. 

Mindy McCall 

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