If you follow my work you’ll know that I’m a sucker for nostalgia, and new favourites ‘Been Stellar’ haven’t held back with their latest offering, ‘Kids 1995’.
The name itself immediately sends you to another place and time. The time? 1995, don’t be silly. The place? I’m thinking of New York City. It seems appropriate to launch this single on the eve of their UK tour, the triumph and exuberance being exactly what would launch a ‘Great British Festival Crowd’ off of their feet. Been Stellar show a key understanding as to how to pull in an audience with sound alone.
Lyrically, the band speaks of an unease with the future and the speed at which it approaches. It takes direct influence from the 1995 cult movie ‘Kids’, a film in which the audience is nothing but a detached observer as the darkness of the film plays out. The film itself is a vehicle for nostalgia, the face of Chloë Sevigny since being burned into millennial eyes as cultural iconography. ‘Kids’ was controversial for displaying children within such adult themes, tying in with the Been Stellar lyric of ‘he died of old age in the prime of his youth’, which is prevalent for so many us who were also determined to grow up far beyond our time. The band says of the track: “At the core of ‘Kids 1995’, a narrator longs for a more simple view of the world. By examining himself and those around him, he realises that the world no longer holds the same meaning it did in his youth, and questions whether the meaning he once felt was just an illusion. Ultimately, the narrator comes to decide that this sort of thinking gets him nowhere, and decides to embrace the bizarre uncertainty of his life.”
If there’s anything we ought to have learned by now, it’s that life is indeed uncertain. Tumultuous, glorious, unpredictable, violent, and wonderful – ‘Kids 1995’ explores the full spectrum of the serenity to accept the things that we cannot change. Our youths play out in our minds as if played back on an old video camera, we muse on who we were then and who we want to be now as the tune creates that sense of a strange longing. Why is it that we all suddenly want to be so reminded of our younger selves? Perhaps the shared trauma we all possess of watching the world shut down has created a need to go back to that child-like state. Adulthood means taking responsibility and having the courage to change what you can in your life and the world around you, but within the realm of being a kid there’s an understanding that you probably cannot change much at all.
We speak to Been Stellar in Issue Thirty-Six of So Young. Find it here.
Photo by Naz Kawakami
Issue Thirty-Seven is out now Ft. Porridge Radio, Crows, Folly Group, The Dinner Party, Automatic, Gently Tender, headboy and more. Buy in print here. Read the digital edition below.