Stillastar’s debut single “Momma” is a slowcore prodigy

Stillastar‘s debut single “Momma” also comes with a striking video.

Stillastar is Austyn Benyak, half of the Cleveland indie rock duo Pearly. 2022 is bound to be a busy year for Benyak. To start with, February 11 will welcome Pearly‘s first studio album. Titled Silver of the Mirror, it sees Benyak‘s and his bandmate Josie Yeager follow a noisier direction than their early singles.

But before that, Benyak is kickstarting his solo career with an impressive first single, “Momma”. Adopting the moniker Stillastar, he has been teasing this project on social media since the start of the year. On January 10, he posted a brief announcement on Instagram, revealing that he would be “starting again as ‘Stillastar’ and that new music would soon follow.

That music is here now. “Momma” proves that Stillastar is a fresh new start for Benyak, who here relies on more straightforward songwriting than with Pearly. In many ways, “Momma” is a fairly conventional song. Based on a simple chord progression strummed on acoustic guitar, it’s in its austere arrangements and drowned-out vocals that it takes on a ghostly character not unlike slowcore greats Red House Painters.

Stillastar has also shared an amazing self-directed video for the song. Starring Benyak, it’s a visually superb reflection on gender and transformation.

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