As January fades into memory, it feels like we’re just now getting to that time of the year when new sounds really begin to make their mark. Today, we’ve got something special for your ears and we will be ending the month with a bang, as we take a sneak peek at a great new track, with a sound might I add, that’s filled with fusion greatness. Stephie James is melding the infectious soul of Motown with the unapologetic edge of Detroit rock, and we’re here for it.
Let’s roll out the red carpet for “Five & Dimer”, a song of Nashville’s Stephie James, who’s got her roots in Detroit. James has this killer style where she takes the best of doo-wop rhythms and Blues from the golden days and mashes it up with the raw energy of classic rock, all while sprinkling some pop sparkle on top. So for us, she’s whipped up a genre cocktail that’s got a taste of the old and a twist of the new.
About the track, Stephie sheds light on the deeper meaning behind the song. Her description provides insight into the character that forms the song’s core.
“Five & Dimer” kind of guy is someone who’s charming, with a twinkle in their eye, but maybe not the most trustworthy or reliable—someone exciting, but not unlike Bette Midler’s “Daytime Hustler.”
The track kicks off with some great percussion, both noticeable and strong, and yet skillfully unobtrusive, which gives off a distinctive sound and style. The great guitar work carries a sound that seems to be a blend of the distorted characteristic of grunge and the defiant spirit found in classic rock. This fusion creates a unique guitar sound that is both rough around the edges, but crisp and clear.
Every now and then, we get some chimes. And when it comes to that, subtlety is key with the keys in “Five & Dimer.” They add a nice touch to the track, providing a contrast to the rawness of the guitar. This brings a certain lightness to the melody, introducing a gentle, almost ethereal quality to the song, which gives it that great pop like element. It’s the pop and soul of Motown, with the edge of Detroit rock city.
I find this to be a song that can be somewhat open to interpretation. It’s as if James is conversing with another woman, the new partner of the past love. The questions posed in the lyrics are layered, suggesting a range of emotions. There’s a hint of curiosity, a touch of what could be interpreted as passive aggression, and possibly a sense of unresolved feelings or lingering bitterness.
Alternatively, it might be seen as an expression of detachment and closure, as if James is saying, “I’ve moved on; now it’s your turn to experience what I did.” The lyrics presents a scenario that many can relate to, yet leaves enough space for you to draw your own conclusions. It’s this balance between specificity and ambiguity that gives the song its richness, and great story-telling.
She manages to evoke a spectrum of emotions without giving away too much, maintaining. The way she frames this tale—through questions and reflections—adds to whats great about the song. But we do now know, is the textbook definition of what a “Five & Dimer” is.
The song will be making it release tomorrow. It’s the perfect chance to take a listen to her unique sound if you haven’t already. And of course there’s more in store – her full debut album is on the way, set to release on March 1st, so be sure to mark your calendars for that.
More From Stephie James
DIGITAL TRACK LIST
2 Party Doll
3 Steve McQueen
5 Hard Place
6 Five & Dimer
7 Silent Film
8 Losing Side
9 Will You Be
10 Night Fades
PHYSICAL (vinyl/CD) TRACK LIST
2 Party Doll
3 These Days (physical format)
4 Steve McQueen
6 Hard Place
7 Five & Dimer
8 Lost With You (physical format)
9 Silent Film
10 Losing Side
11 Will You Be
12 Night Fades