Oakland Singer Stoney Creation Finds Herself In ‘Dark Spaces’

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Stoney Creation. (Photo: courtesy of the artist. Illustration: Kelly Heigert/KQED)

Welcome to Pass the Aux, where every week we feature new music by Bay Area artists. Check out past entries and submit a song for future coverage here.

“Dark Spaces,” by Oakland singer Stoney Creation, is a world unto itself that opens the door and says “come on in.” A full minute of billowy synthesizers and lush soprano saxophone opens the track—welcoming, promising, expectant—until the first lines finally draw the image: “I found myself, in the dark, waiting for him.”

The song is a highlight of Stoney Creation's new EP, if it resonates..., a collection of inviting tracks that reflect on the self, and how to more smoothly align it with a jagged world. Much of that inviting nature comes from the sonic quality itself; take the thumps and finger-snaps of “Dark Spaces,” evoking an old-time street corner doo-wop session, the definition of putting oneself out there in a public space. But, like the best hits of the doo-wop era, its songs' themes aren't always so light.

Hazy, woozy R&B has been in vogue for nearly a decade now. But Stoney Creation's approach is less about pills and fame and centered more on reflection and self-love. (If you've ever lost yourself in Tweet's song “Drunk,” from 2002's Southern Hummingbird, you'll recognize “Dark Spaces” as a spiritual descendant.) By the song's end, the horns become layered in harmony over an ascending piano glissando, suggesting a resolution, or even a rapture. Close your eyes, and you can feel the ancient wisdom: that even though you sometimes gotta go through turmoil to reach it, peace is attainable.