a b o u t ...
STANLÆY is the brain child and alter-ego of musician, producer, artist, and composer Bethany Clare Mistlebrook Stenning where Bethany composes music both as a solo artist, and collaborating with other musicians / a live band to bring the music to a live environment. Fuelled by collaboration, landscapes (internal and external), cross-pollination and the synergy between the organic and the synthetic, Bethany is an unstoppable force of nature of multi-disciplinary form.
Bethany's music has most recently appeared on BBC radio 6, BBC Bristol, BBC Introducing in the West, RTE Radio, British Airwaves Next Big Thing, and been hailed by local press; being described as "Joanna Newsom, Bjork and Janelle Monae wrapped into one woodland sprite." - Monolith Cocktail. Her recent collaborations (vox, harp, strings) on Ishmael Ensemble's album 'visions of light' have lead her to perform at the renowned Jazz Cafe in London, and hailed BBC6 radio's album of the year 2021.
Bethany hugely values melding her music with visual elements. This manifests itself in her impressive array of music videos, and visuals for both STANLÆY and other local bands / pals such as Binbag Wisdom's latest narrative music video. In live performance, this manifests itself in Bethany's love for inviting physical and theatrical performance into the live musical environment: notably, silver spirit guides escorting lost souls to their seats, and a drunk Bristolian elf exploring interactive stories with the audience (Alison Campbell).
STANLÆY's first full album The Human Project is an audio-visual highly experimental beguiling soundscape exploring the concept of elements through Bethany's creation of an alternative pastoral fairytale world. STANLÆY's second, equally critically acclaimed solo EP, Rif, acts as a fragmented snapshot of Stenning’s time while living in Rif, a small town where Bethany lived alone & wrote the EP. It has been illuminated as "a spellbinding concoction of outer-worldly electronics, entrancing folk melodies and classical arrangements that is an engaging listening experience" - Twisted Soul Music. The over arching theme: STANLÆY's music open heartedly and intimately invites listeners into Bethany's unique and beautifully odd inner sonic universe.
Bethany works closely with other musicians when performing, recording and writing music within STANLÆY. Bethany's sonic siblings, and live line-up is currently a quintet led by Bethany Stenning (vocals, electric guitar) with the incredible Ben Holyoake (Bass), Naomi Hill (violin), & Joe Milkinson (kit). Their most recent performances have been at both the noteworthy Southbank Centre in London as part of Karim Kamar's live poetry and music night, and performing with Ishmael Ensemble as part of their Round Up series (following a line-up of Yazz Ahmed, Alabaster DePlume, Waldo's Gift and Yama Warashi). Hailed top of the list for The Standard's (London) recommendations of upcoming acts to watch at Glastonbury Festival, and Pink Wafers Best of Bristol bands - this is a group of artists/performers to keep an eye out for.