Just in time for summer, Greek artist Σtella/Stella drops “The Race,” her latest offering on Arbutus Records as well as a music video accompaniment that plays like an ode to the spirit of Athens.
Shot around Athens in the spring of this year, Σtella‘s self-directed new video charts the everyday training regimes of over fifteen athletes, from horse riders to skateboarders, across the city. It’s easy to see the inspiration for the video coming from the pulse of Athens and its sporting history, yet it’s more prescient than that in the context of the song. In the training athletes, we see the pursuit for excellence, the desire to escape from “The Race” yet also the inherent joy that comes with achieving something that’s challenging.
If “The Race” that the title refers to is the rat race of everyday life, then the entire song resounds with a feeling of escapism and wonder, a dare to reject the mundanity and banality of everyday life for something more exciting. The steadily beating ba dum rhythm, that guides the track through the reedy woodwind upon which the song is tethered to, echoes the beating of a heart, the pulse of life and as such is innately pleasing to the ear.
Beyond the thrumming beat, the jangly guitars and lilting vocals from Σtella inject the track with a lightness. There’s a heady warmth embedded in the track, one that gives it a sunkissed aura that radiates outwards into wonderfully airy electro-pop.