Strangers is not a well-known band, and yet the group’s newest album, Close, shows that they have the potential to change this.
Don’t let the alternative label that iTunes gives the group scare you away. Although the band does have an experimental feel to it, Strangers is closer to electronic pop. The lyrics can be a bit heavy at times, but the incorporated electronics keep the songs upbeat. Another nice aspect about the album is that each song sounds distinct. Many electric pop bands fall into the habit of having a similar beat and chord structures in each song. Strangers thankfully avoids this.
Strangers, a London-based band, consists of three members: David Maddox Jones, Raife Hacking and Piers Sherwood-Roberts. They describe themselves as “anthemic synth pop” on their twitter, a fitting description for their style. In the months leading up to the release of Close, the band released some of the songs on their website for free download to their fans. Now, the entire album — plus some additional songs — are available on iTunes.
It’s important to know that the album has two parts to it. The first half is technically an EP (extended play) with six original songs, running about 22 minutes. It should be noted that iTunes has the songs in a different order than the band’s soundcloud. Regardless, the order of the songs does not have an impact on the overall feel the EP gives. The second half contains remixes of songs on the EP as well as older singles of theirs. The remixes especially have a good dance beat, making for great party music. One of the remixes of the song “Fires” — which is part of the aforementioned EP — is labeled as acoustic. This, however, is pretty misleading. Rather than being played with non-electronic instruments, the song has a slower backbeat and less electronic noise than the original. Despite the terminology, it is still a good listen for a more relaxed version of electronic pop.
The lyrics give each song its own identity in addition to unique backbeats. One of the songs takes on how it feels to reclaim control in your life, while another could be a confrontation of a person who hides behind lies. “Divine,” one of the stronger songs on the EP, is all about confronting fears. Each song has its own message, but there is one prominent theme throughout the whole album. The songs are more about human nature and finding strength, rather than topics like drug rehab or earning money. For example, one of their songs is all about living in the moment and enjoying what is happening right now.
Strangers is still a relatively new band. Nevertheless, it has a bright future. Although it just released Close, they are already talking about another EP which will be released in 2014 and working with a British film. The band has the entire Close EP on its soundcloud. The album is also available on iTunes for under $5. With this up-and-coming band making its mark now, take the time to listen to the music.