Friday, November 4, 2011
New, aptly named third EP here from London outfit Strangers, which, despite having some perhaps unimpressive pop sensibilities, is well worthy of mention. Initially, I too was put off by the slighty predictable song structure, laced through with glittery synths, but upon another listen, you realise you've been handed something incredible. Certain notes make your hairs stand on end, vibrating with a dark, emotional intelligence. The lyrics reflect the image of a night-time epiphany, watched over by a lone street-light and shot through with the trickle of uncertain rain. With another listen, and another, you forget all about those previous flaws. 'EP3' isn't the most experimental thing ever, and barely nudges any musical boundaries, never mind push them, yet something just clicks. The scope of the synths prevail in New Romanticism-esque grandeur, racing over confident beats and supporting those magical, awe-inspiring notes. The opening track, 'Promises', which you can stream above, deals with exactly that, and features the wonderful Lara Smiles. Epic choruses highlight both vocals, yet it's the other two out of these three tracks that do it for me. The throbbing bombast of 'insecure' at 0:27 just hits the spot on 'Because I'm Human', but when the ultimate number 'Sweet Nothing' comes up, you feel as though everything has just been leading up to it. All I have to say is, the sound and feeling and passion of that one word, 'hear' is stunningly beautiful. The lyricism, "silently deafen me" is another highlight, but it really is that one note that makes everything worth listening to. An EP that grows with time, 'EP3' finishes so, so spectacularly that you have to listen through the whole thing again, just to get that same feeling. Playing that one song over and over again wouldn't work. You need that build. That subtle growth within the music that accumulates and climaxes in this breathtakingly epitaph of dark, touching pop. I always try to find albums, EPs and tracks that strive to do something different and unique and all their own, and while for the most part, Strangers record some comfortable pop, they throw some moments in there that do all of the above and more. If every second was like those notes, I don't think it would have turned out quite as well as it did, and with a smile-inducing thought, I conclude that Strangers did everything on purpose. The majority of the songs are there to offset those few spine-tingling words, and I just love all three. Out on the 28th of November, stream the whole EP here and then visit Strangers' website!