Stella Ruze emerged out of Manayunk (Philadelphia) back in 2014. Bandleader, Brendan Johnson, was a regular musician of the dive bar music scene. He eventually connected with co-vocalist, Katie Burke, through a mutual friend. Soon after, the duo was introduced to keyboardist Mason Wallack and trumpet player, Alex Styer. They took on the name “Stella Ruze” as a way to embody Johnson’s underlying song themes of love lost/love found while paying homage to Styer’s New Orleans horn style, Burke’s vocal harmonies, and melodic piano hooks from Wallack.
To date, Stella Ruze has two studio releases. In June 2016, the band released their So Here LP that featured 8 songs written by Johnson and performed by the band during their first shows. The band returned to the studio in early 2017 to record a five-song, self-titled EP. They received assistance from renowned sound engineer & drummer Matt Muir, and Johnson worked closely with Philly music legend Ben Arnold for creative direction.