After spending the last few months hunkered down and tapped into a creative stream of literature and art, Stella Talpo returns with the support of PRS’ ‘Women Make Music Fund’. ‘GOOD GIRLS’ acts as the introduction and announcement of her debut album ‘MEDUSA’, releasing this autumn via DeepMatter Records.

Immediately marking a grittier, primal turn in Stella’s R&B sound, ‘GOOD GIRLS’ brings in elements of leftfield alt-pop and a wild edge that sets the tone for the upcoming record. The track holds no prisoners, adopting visceral, gory imagery to comment upon oppression experienced by women under patriarchal structures. The message is double-edged, with lyrics discussing the importance of solidarity, and the power in numbers needed to break barriers and enact change.

“GOOD GIRLS is about empowerment and solidarity. It urges listeners to be strong and fight for freedom, rather than being a ‘good girl’ who follows the rules and stays in the shadows. I set out to describe the struggles of being a woman in a male-dominated world and the ways in which women have been held back and manipulated.”

Across the 11-tracks that make up her debut album ‘MEDUSA’, Stella challenges societal ideals and oppressive frameworks. A central thread of mythological, primal & visceral imagery is used to normalise elements of life that are part of the ugly (but real) human experience, contrasting with the sterilised society we occupy, where we’ve been detached from our primal nature. “Initially, the concept was inspired by the ‘Chimera’, a creature villainised for its grotesque form, which paralleled the story I wanted to tell about our inner darkness & imperfections, the things that make us animals that we’ve hidden away, particularly from a woman’s point of view.”

A result of years of musical experimentation and growth with producer Lewis Moody (30/70, Cherise), the project marks an injection of ethereal darkness and alt-pop sound design into Stella’s soulful R&B songwriting. Influences range from the leftfield electronics of Gazelle Twin and the cinematic soul of SAULT, through to engagement with contemporary feminist literature by the likes of Gillian Alban and Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Their writings acted as a springboard for many of the lyrical motifs explored by Stella, as she explains; “Women Who Run With Wolves unlocked so much for me creatively, inspiring a lot of the purpose, metaphors and repeated literary motifs on the album.”

Born in a small town in Italy, but now firmly rooted in South London by way of Singapore, Spain and America, Stella has released a trilogy of EPs in the lead up to her debut album. Finding widespread critical support from the likes of The Line of Best Fit, CLASH and New Wave Magazine, as well as BBC Introducing, Reprezent Radio and Rinse FM, she’s now ready to share a body of work that truly represents her eclectic musical tastes and travelled upbringing. Also a keen reader of literature and poetry, her evocative, insightful lyricism is at the centre of her alluring, boundary-pushing work.