Becca Stevens Band’s “Imperfect Animals” is an intimate rumination on our inability to be everything to everyone, all the time. “I wanna leave you/ time/ plenty of space so that I’m/ still a muse when you write,” Stevens sings at the song’s start; but she also wants to be a good mother and “the perfect counterpart,” as well as someone who’s lighthearted and patient. The song’s jagged edges — low, scratchy guitars, jerky time signatures — complement the complicated ideals and realities she’s grappling with: “I’m trying/ trying to understand what makes us how we are/ take the hurting as a learning part/ imperfection is a perfect place to start.” Overall the track has a mechanical, industrial feel, but Stevens’s band also uses smooth elements of jazz and folk, evoking similarly hybrid artists like Buke and Gase and Ani DiFranco. Her new album, Perfect Animal, is out November 4.
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