The artistic entity known as Stocker (recently rebranded from Bria.mp3) is a special one. A powerhouse vocalist not unfamiliar to sonic diversity, as well as an adept and specific lyricist, the Brisbane local’s latest musical venture is an experience you will want to put on loop. As she purrs the first verse, screams at the beatdrops, and slays the hook (quite literally) in a performance that will make you sit up in your chair, Stocker makes a point of announcing her arrival, on her first outing since the rebrand, with Rodeo.
The song was born out of unusual circumstances – and its story is almost as good as the track itself. Stocker was planning on participating in the Unearthed ‘DIY Supergroup’ competition run annually by Australia’s biggest radio broadcaster, Triple J, centred at finding new and exciting ANZ artists to promote. Entrants are given access to stems from a handful of ground-breaking international artists already on Triple J’s rotation and given absolute freedom to do what they want with them to create a song of their own. This year’s stems came from artists such as BBno$, PUP, Holly Humberstone, Superorganism and Porter Robinson. Stocker had been trying to write a song for the entirety of the competition’s running time – when she had an experience 2 days before the deadline that allowed the song to write itself.
Stocker was driving home from the studio one night in her Toyota Echo when she ran into an old flame at a traffic light intersection. She stalled the Echo in front of her ex, who was waiting to turn, leaving them both in a suspended window of time, eyes locked. Paired with the classic americana rock blasting on the car stereo, Stocker felt entirely like she was suddenly living out some sort of modern Western shootout scene, waiting to see who would drive off first.
This kind lyrical specificity is a big aspect of what makes Stocker special, she is able to select this very specific moment in her life, and word it in such a way, wrapped in just the right energy and production finesse to somehow make the listener sit back and go ‘yeah, I relate to this feeling’ – despite half the people I know not even being able to drive stick.
This brief feeling became the basis of an entire song, blending elements of pop-punk, screamo, and nu-metal – all separate pockets of the music industry Stocker identifies as having misogynistic facets. This is the first indication at how deep Rodeo really is.
“On the surface it’s a song about a vehicular showdown with your ex at an intersection, but beneath that it’s a choice-feminist anthem”.
The version of the song submitted to the competition was completed in just 27 hours, as Stocker rushed with her producer James Halstead (WIIGZ, Tejavu) before he flew to Sydney to begin the WIIGZ tour. The two co-produced Rodeo with a unique and impressive amount of interpolation – which is how they sampled the iconic titular theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – which obviously isn’t an especially feministic film. The track was mastered by producer/engineer Jarryd Shuker (Genes, Hanni), who is studio neighbours with Stocker and James.
While Stocker didn’t win the competition with Rodeo, she was named a finalist, and the song opened many doors for her, having since supported larger Aussie up-and-comers such as Cloe Terare and Sycco. The song garnered so much support in the form of reviews and fan response that James and Stocker returned to it after the closing of the competition – removed all the samples and reconstructed it to be 110% original composition – which made for an even better track.
Much like it’s hook, Rodeo is a no-breaks song, as Stocker lays it all out for the listener – punchy lines and an incredible vocal performance that you need to strap yourself in for. Picture a cyber-cowgirl anthem, in the cadence of Charli XCX, and with a Demi Lovato level of sass and self-empowerment – but make it Brisbane. This is essentially what you’re in for on this song, and it’s every bit enjoyable as it sounds. Stocker is definitely an artist to watch, and we can’t wait to hear her next projects in the years to come.
Rodeo is now available to stream and download on all platforms.