Laura Stevenson's 'Dermatillomania' Is a Song You Need to Know - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music News

Song You Need to Know: Laura Stevenson, ‘Dermatillomania’

Indie singer-songwriter triumphs over past pain on the centerpiece of her new album, ‘The Big Freeze’

Laura Stevenson

Rachel Brennecke

The title of indie singer-songwriter Laura Stevenson’s latest single is the name of a OCD-related mental illness that causes people to repeatedly pick at their own skin. But despite that ominous title, Stevenson’s latest — a jangly pop-rocker that recalls Rabbit Fur Coat-era Jenny Lewis — is about persisting through pain. When Stevenson sings, “So scar up where it counts/No one can see me now,” it sounds less like a confession than a triumph.

On “Dermatillomania,” the centerpiece of her new album The Big Freeze, Stevenson tells much of her story through the song’s breezy SoCal riff, which arrives like a declaration right after the song’s closest approximation to a chorus: “And then I see your face.” The song also features some of the sharpest imagery the 34-year-old songwriter has ever written. Describing that same face later on, Stevenson sings, “Its features are a skyline of a city I can’t place.” It’s the type of line that could only come from a singer who’s suffered through desolation and come out on other side. The song works mostly because Stevenson is careful never to forget her past scars. “It’s not a sign of hope/It’s not a suit of armor,” she offers. “Only a reminder.”




In This Article: Song You Need to Know


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.