While it may seem like state of narrative music is at risk, artists like Peter Stone are keeping it alive. This Friday, the indie-folk instrumentalist and nature-inspired singer/songwriter has released a new single “Yellow Breeches,” which is the first of eight new singles of his that will be released this year. Yes, eight!
The new track, his previously released song “Fells Reservoir,” and his upcoming song “Pacific” were created with recording, engineering, and producing help from AJ Jagannath of 727 Studios in Brooklyn. The song — named after the Pennsylvanian creek, Yellow Breeches — carries building and winding echoes of banjo paired with introspective self-talk lyrics that illustrate the struggle of silencing our inner voices and the voices of those around us. “Yellow Breeches” concludes with the speaker deciding “to move on, into the Chesapeake’s arms.” Like the water that travels from Yellow Breeches creek, flowing into the Susquehanna, and ultimately emptying in the Chesapeake, the speaker cannot move forward without taking some of the sediment that was picked up in the past.
Stone began playing music at only four years old, though his passion for it truly started to bloom by age twelve. He grew up enjoying music like the Beach Boys, Hanson, and the Spice Girls. Over the years he became skilled in several instruments from guitar to banjo to mandolin, all of which are incorporated in his songs.
Stone’s first big jump into recording music was with the New England indie rock band currently based in LA, the Rare Occasions, generating over 3 million streams on Spotify alone. Stone departed in 2018 to pursue his solo work and move back to his hometown in Pennsylvania where he currently spends most of his time, although he remains in contact with them. Brian McLaughlin of the Rare Occasions actually mastered all eight new songs, providing gear advice, and songwriting feedback to Stone.
More recently he takes inspiration from bands like Bright Eyes, Big Thief, Phoebe Bridgers, and the Weakerthans—much of his music presents a similarly intimate and rustic vibe. In his free time, he’ll even post his own covers of songs by these bands as well as similar ones on his Instagram page. As a wandering and free spirit, Stone has taken on several projects in and out of music. You can also hear his banjo playing featured on Connor Cherland’s new single/song “Darling.” And, Stone partakes in environmental and political activism through causes that include Extinction Rebellion and Stop Line 3 that nonviolently urge government officials to take action in minimizing risks associated with our current ecological crisis.
His appreciation and care for our Earth bleed through his music: mellow tones and whispery vocals support themes of nature while his story-telling often incorporate images from places he’s traveled. And, it’s only a perfect coincidence that this first song of eight was released right after Earth Day.
So, when will the other seven songs come out? The remaining seven (listed below) will be released one at a time: one every three weeks starting today:
May 14th – “Pacific” June 4th – “The Outlook” June 25th – “Her Name” July 16th – “Remote” August 6th – “The Dam” August 27th – “Alpine” September 17th – “Atlantic”
Forests, outlooks, flowers, and bodies of water flood through the poetic verses of Stone’s autobiographical pieces, taking us from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic, mimicking some of his journeys. The softness of his crisp vocals creates an atmosphere that fosters introspection and mindfulness, as well as a oneness with the world that draws the listener in making them experience emotions of conflict, loss, reflection, and love amid carefully crafted lyrics.
While the remaining seven are not out yet, we got a sneak peek and have some takeaways to get you excited for their upcoming release:
“Pacific” presents a slow-paced and tender song that depicts the deterioration of a cherished relationship with clever lines like “figured you wouldn’t leave / the plants / I think they’re dying on that tiny balcony.” The details and craft behind Stone’s imagery hit us in places only raw perspectives of one’s life can. Noting the speaker’s move back to Appalachia from the Pacific signifies leaving an old part of oneself behind to start anew.
Moving from “Pacific,” Stone’s songs turn more upbeat with “Outlook” and “Her Name,” including vivid details and metaphors, strung together with guitar, banjo, and mandolin. The songs provoke thoughts of purpose, letting go, and hope with lyrics like “keep me honest, keep me wonder.” They provide the warmth of a campfire through drawn-out syllables and the use of rhyme. Each song is an ingredient that put together creates a balanced ecosystem of experiences the listener will feel they can relate to, residing in human melodies not heightened by any synthetic sound or inauthenticity, ending with the last of the eight “Atlantic,” which is a personal favorite and quite possibly the best song out of the bunch. So, you’ll have to wait until September to hear them all, but we can assure you it will be worth the wait.
Want to know something else neat about Stone’s set of new songs that hasn’t been announced yet? Vintage lovers get ready! Once all eight songs are released, they’ll be compiled onto cassette tapes that will be available to buy this summer, so you can go on nature walks or hikes while experiencing the full collection. To follow these songs, he’ll be working on an album that’s written and ready to be recorded.