Strange Things brings a peculiar sound to life with their music. It is a soulful blend of the production, melody and compositional styles of today. Yet, it links strongly with the music that was. Exploring a plethora of sounds across the board, this is their latest album, In That Light of Fading Day.
Your music seems to be a medicine to events around you, as revealed by the Sunshine EP in 2020. What
is this particular album about?
Yes, I would say that’s true, that’s music for me in general, whether I’m writing it or listening to it. I think it’s a way of processing feelings I’m having towards certain events or moments, either in my personal life or things I’m seeing in the world.
I’m self-conscious about my lyrics, so I don’t often include them or post them publicly, but this album is just me dealing with a variety of emotions that hit me from 2020 through 2022 and me just trying to talk it out. It’s cathartic. I don’t necessarily set out to make an album that’s a mood ring to the time it was written, but this one certainly is.
With this kind of execution, you might also be reminded of Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. At least that is what Estate of Mind brings to mind. The instruments resonate strongly in the background-bringing a choir vocal quality. Musical aspects are driven through, the groove heavily resting on some unique compositional qualities.
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Telling of a story
From a shoegaze kind of sound in Trouble with Boys to punk speed in Bully, how do you navigate
compositions like these?
It’s about allowing influences to mix and finding a way to still make it sound like a Strange Things song. If you listen closely, those two songs aren’t all that different, it’s just about where the emphasis is put. “Bully” is an expression of frustration and anger, so the emphasis is on the tempo and the volume. It’s sort of a call back to an older song called “Good Hate”.
“Trouble With Boys” is also an expression of frustration and anger, but it has a vulnerability that is emphasized in the vocals and guitars. However, both songs are up-tempo with a driving energy and strong harmonies, and that’s what makes them fit together on a Strange Things record.
Do bands like Catherine Wheel inspire songs like Juvenile Holiday?
‘Juvenile Holiday’ was inspired by the subject matter. It’s about the pure joy found in youth and suggesting we try not to lose that as adults, so I tried to capture that in the arrangement of the song. It kind of caught me off guard because I didn’t know I could write a song like that, and for that reason it’s one of my favourite songs on the album. It sort of distils the entire goal of the record down into one song.
A fuzz universe
If that was the tone of old, Bully brings an aggressive, pit-stop speed to the song. However, the vocals and instrumentals are dissolved behind a dense layer of fuzz. It is noise rock, but the song is everything it is because of the melody. We explore sound output styles with the heavy phaser tone of Pull the Strings. You’re subjected to a catchy bridge and memorable chorus section as well. I’m Not Here banks on the mystery of the darker chords. It sounds like a Sabbath opening, yet has the lightness of Strange Things and their writing. All sound like phases of a fever dream that was left unexplored. Trouble with Boys brings a peppy, danceable groove to us. The 80s synth soaked sound is clearly heard here-yet has the signature style of Strange Things.
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Strange Things is inspired by classic rock and metal
Which band/act would you credit for the dominating sound for your developed style?
The Kinks, Black Sabbath and The Velvet Underground. Other bands have influenced moments or songs here and here, but those three have been the consistent influence in my songwriting. I like hooks and I like riffs. I like telling stories and I like hiding pop songs in a bunch of noise.
What is your plan on touring and making people experience this phenomenal album? Do you consider this
a massive leap from Higher Anxiety, released 7 years ago?
The sole intention of this album WAS to make a giant leap from Higher Anxiety. I love that record, but it was definitely made under some self-imposed creative constraints. This album was a conscious effort to relax, have fun and explore the band’s sound over the course of an album and reimagine what this project can be.
Some people will like the A side because it’s familiar, and some people will like the B side because it’s new. I love them both equally because there is a bit of the past and a glimpse of the future. I’m just very proud of it and I would love to tour this record and have people experience it live if anyone wants to help me out with that.
A mixture of tones and sounds
In a way, we’re in stoner rock category with the next song. The riff at least seems to suggest so. The dynamic is created in the contrast of the riff coating, and how the vocals soar. Holy Mountain, Take Me As the Sun bring a dose of adrenaline when they turn within. It is an epic display of musical ingenuity. Juvenile Holiday is that epic that closes out an album, doing justice to the idea that birthed it. Strange Things understand music as a grouping of emotions and sounds, resulting to something so persistent and energetic. Listen to the work of art here:
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Self professed metalhead, moderately well read. If the music has soul, it's whole to me. The fact that my bio could have ended on a rhyme and doesn't should tell you a lot about my personality.