Strange Names - Data
Avant garde is a term I've thrown around a bit when maybe it didn't apply. When someone tries to make something really different and really new though it just feels like the best term to describe the music they are creating. Strange Names however are a band I am wholly comfortable using the term with. Their brand of bright pop, with absolutely bonkers effects is all at once wild and extremely catchy. The albums opener "UFO" has this fantastic beat and peppered into the bright pop music are these statements on UFO abduction that feel like they are out of nowhere. Everything that Strange Names does is just a little bit more artistic than you would expect and that is why so much work and effort go into their records. Underneath this sentiment though there is always something a little deeper and more sinister to their music. putting layer upon layer of this stellar electropop. Electropop in particular has felt a bit stale in the past year with little in terms of excitement or experimentation but not with Strange Names. There is always a beat you can dance to imbued in their songs, They want their audience to move, but they also want to have something to say. There is still a strong Talking Heads influence here yet the arrangements on Data feel a bit more basic than they did on Use Your Time Wisely. This album has more flourish and more swag where the last was direct and poignant. A few phrases you shouldn't mind hearing about either of your albums.
I've played Strange Names for a number of people who don't quite get it, and I do understand that position because in all honesty they are a bit out there. However, where elese are you finding guitar driven pop that is this good anymore? It's clear from most of their songs that Strange Names have no desire to take themselves seriously, but when you really dig into the lyrics you find they actually have something important to say about the human condition. There is a version of this record which would be over produced cluttered and in a word a mess, but Strange Names dodges the pitfalls and manages to make a pop record that is diverse and exciting. The slower tracks like "Rosa" feel like they loose a bit of steam, and can't keep up with the pacing that the band sets for itself. I may just be a head in the clouds pop fan, but damn it if I am not into Strange Names, and I think you should be too!
8.0 out of 10