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Proving rock & roll can be a family affair, Stonefield is a sibling band from rural Australia consisting of four sisters who play tough, swaggering hard rock in the classic style of the '70s, complete with swirling organ lines and crunching guitar solos. Emerging in the early 2010s, the group found regional success in 2013 with the release of their sophomore full-length effort, As Above, So Below, which peaked at number 19 on the Australian Albums chart. Subsequent offerings like Far from Earth (2018) and Bent (2019) continued to look to classic and psychedelic rock for inspiration.
The members of Stonefield were born and raised in Darraweit Guim, a small rural community in Victoria, Australia. The Findlay sisters grew up in a household where their parents reveled in their love of classic rock -- Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Fleetwood Mac, and Frank Zappa were all a frequent presence on the family stereo -- and in a small town where kids had to make their own fun, the siblings decided to form a band in 2006. Amy Findlay played drums and sang lead vocals, Hannah Findlay took up guitar, Sarah Findlay claimed the keyboards, and Holly Findlay held down the low end on bass. A music teacher lived next door, giving the Findlays pointers on mastering their instruments, and the group began playing locally as Iotah, winning a number of regional Battle of the Band competitions. In 2010, Iotah's local renown grew into nationwide fame when the group entered their song "Foreign Lover" in the Triple J Unearthed music competition. Despite their youth -- when they entered the finals in October 2010, Amy was the oldest at 20, and Holly was just 12 years old -- Iotah won the grand prize, though they soon discovered another Australian group was using the name iOTA and, to avoid confusion, they changed their handle to Stonefield. In November 2010, Stonefield released their debut EP, Through the Clover, through Australian indie label Shock Records, and played Perth's One Movement Festival, which led to a spot on the bill at the British Glastonbury Festival in 2011. (However, shortly before the release of Through the Clover, Stonefield had to turn down a tour of New Zealand, as it interfered with Hannah's final presentation in a music performance course.) By the time Stonefield had released their second EP, Bad Reality, through Wunderkind Records in May 2012, the group had toured Australia and the U.K. several times and shared bills with the Foo Fighters, the Kaiser Chiefs, and many others. In October 2013, Stonefield released their long-awaited debut album, simply titled Stonefield. Dipping their toes into the mainstream, the sisters made their Aussie chart debut with the release of their sophomore outing, 2013's As Above, So Below, which cracked the ARIA Top 20. In 2017 the group inked a deal with Flightless Records and issued the muscular single "Delusion," which appeared on 2018's doomy full-length Far from Earth. Recorded live in the studio over five grueling days, 2019's Bent was recorded with help from Joe Walker and Stu Mackenzie from fellow Aussie fuzzmakers King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. ~ Mark Deming
- Darraweit Guim, Victoria, Austral