Strange Ranger - 'The Future'
Strange Ranger have always seemed like a bit of an unknown quantity. It's not really because of a name change, nor a lack of information despite acclaim, more their ability to covertly switch from Modest Mouse inspired straight indie rock to more hazy Microphones-esque fair. On new record Daymoon this heavy fog persists, but much like on the sorely underrated Rot Forever, warm chinks of sunlight appear on closer inspection.
'The Future' feels very much like that spell of welcomingly clear daylight, but that tag could also be applied to a number of tracks on this superb album (see 'Everything All At Once'). Though there's still conflict at the heart of the track, which feels like the uncomfortable transition between regret and acceptance.
"and i don't care if i'm small
i've seen it
i'm not upset with you at all
i mean it"
As on Rot Forever they could be accused of trying to fit in a little too much. But, at fifteen tracks long this record is far from needlessly dense or oblique, instead our intrigue is continually kept thanks to the intricate shape-shifting both in tone and style. In this respect Daymoon might take us a long time to get wrap our heads round, which is clearly no bad thing. It's certainly easy to point to their influences on 'The Future' and Daymoon itself, but it's much harder to categorise or pin down the band themselves.
It's sprawling, languid almost, but its also clear that Isaac Eiger has been thinking about these songs for a while now. On repeated listens this begins to feel rather more comforting, and self assured then their previous efforts. As such 'The Future' illustrates what Stranger Ranger do best, serve up hazy ambiguity with the indie rock tools of their Pacific Northwest heritage. If that's not something worth immersing yourself in, we don't know what is.
"the gleam sticks
i need this
i feel it
Daymoon is out now on Tiny Engines.