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“Loved Me Like a Weapon” by Brie Stoner

“Never one to call my bluff, even when I’m divided / Searching across faded photographs / Where no one’s wrong / No one’s right,” sings a beautifully melodic Brie Stoner in the new single “Loved Me Like a Weapon,” her voice channeling all of the emotion that’s built up behind her in the instrumentation before the appearance of this stately chorus. A lyrical masterpiece yet a track that is defined by far more than its poeticisms alone, this is one single that pop fans need to hear for themselves this spring – if for no other reason than to get exposed to one of the underground most talented young voices. 

The melody is subtle and surreal in the backdrop, but there’s rarely a moment in this song in which it doesn’t complement the warmth of Stoner’s lead vocal with its icy sonic overlay. There isn’t a lot of excess space in this mix for any of the typical bells and whistles that one might expect to hear in a modern pop song – truth be told, the two primary elements here are the texture and the vocals, with no room for synthetics at all. Stoner isn’t interested in crafting inorganic material, and if that wasn’t known before, it’s made clear to us in this track. 

There’s a wonderful tonal presence to the bass element here that caught my attention in my initial sit-down with “Loved Me Like a Weapon,” and even after repeat listens I think it’s one of the more impactful instrumental parts in the mix. To be fair, even the components that feel minuscule beside the vocal in this single can be found contributing to the mood of the music at some juncture or another, which is hardly something that can be said about the majority of chart-topping pop songs making their way out of the woodwork this spring. 

This vocal of Brie Stoner’s, though a near-whisper in a couple of key spots, is chill-inducing no matter how many times I try breaking it down. There’s nothing forced about this performance, and if I didn’t know any better, I would have guessed that she was at least three or four full-length albums into her career by now. She has the swagger of an artist who has no qualms about getting a little crazy in the recording studio, and her disciplined attitude is something that all of her peers – mainstream, indie, and otherwise – could stand to learn something from. 

I wasn’t aware of Brie Stoner or her music before coming across “Loved Me Like a Weapon” through a colleague in the industry, but now that I know what she’s working with in the booth, I definitely will be looking out for more content bearing her moniker in the future. Pop music is a polarizing genre, to say the least, but when it comes to melodicism this rich and accessible, you don’t need to be a hardcore bubblegum-type fan to fall head over heels in love with the artistry behind the fireworks. Stoner has my attention, and soon enough, I think she’ll have yours as well. 

Mindy McCall



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