Capsule Review: STELLA ELLA OLA (2012-05-26 @ Cinecycle)
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If you haven’t heard of STELLA ELLA OLA yet, don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. The band composed of Nick and Jake Boyd from HOLLERADO as well as Vince Rice (ATOM DIVISION) and Anne Douris* is brand-spanking new but has a quickly growing following. Their recently released free EP intrigued us here at The Indie Machine, so we made sure we were in attendance for the band’s debut show at Cinecyle on May 26th.
As the band first took to the stage, you could feel the anticipation in the busy venue: would they sound great, horrible, or somewhere in the between? The first chord was strummed, the crowd pushed forward, and STELLA ELLA OLA proceeded to deliver exactly what their EP promised; a set of short, fun, and gloriously lo-fi songs.
Their music is relaxed, playful, and childish (which is why the group is so aptly named), and perfect for the onset of summer. The songs have the feel of a band that just picked up their instruments for the first time, in a refreshing way. The music aims to put a smile on the audience’s faces, and – excuse my language – by golly does it succeed!
In keeping with the lighthearted nature of the band, all the members sang at least one song, and there was some switching of guitar and bass as well amongst members. At the end of the set, the audience demanded an encore, but since they didn’t know any other songs, the band replayed the Anne Douris-sung Peter Sellers (their best number), which was actually EXACTLY what the crowd wanted.
One thing that does have to be said is that STELLA ELLA OLA can be polarizing. Since the music is so rough and lo-fi, it’s not for everyone. If you were to randomly select someone off the street to come see this band, there’s a decent chance they wouldn’t enjoy it. However, for those who know what to expect and like it – which is evidently quite a large group – they surely deliver!
Keep an eye on these guys in the future, and be sure to catch them at Velvet Underground on June 14th for NXNE!
*[Editor's Note: yes, Anne Douris is Nick Boyd's significant other, but please don't let that trick you into thinking this is a simple bf-gf vanity project: STELLA ELLA OLA are legit.]
Photos by R. STEPHENSON PRICE