by Ryan Doyle Elward
Balancing elements of funk and psych on a fulcrum of folk, the David Strange‘s self-title EP works an odd brand of gypsy magic, drawing ensnared listeners to discover each return trip to this bizarre circus more pleasantly revealing than the last. Opening song “Mean World” resembles a dreamlike state, ebbing along with a curious and sexy bass backing, while discussion centers around women in society, and the plight and double standard presented in this modern age. Contrasting such subject matter with ethereal, almost angelic vocals seems befitting, which also appear in several following numbers.
The David Strange EP, in a sense, sounds as though it were late to the party, in a manner that gives the impression of this musical Frankenstein that missed the period during which all of the genre components were individually considered most prominent. All until you realize this is his party, and most of the guests were in fact at least somewhat in part inspired by the curator himself, as if the whole affair had been preparing to show itself in the daylight after long existing underground.
While drawing on obviously similarly influences, each song contains both novel and unique activity, and in comparison to the others, feels hard to imagine how they were juxtaposed in this release expect in effort to show disparity. Not undesirable, and actually successful as a unit. Sort of like five very different strangers who set out on a journey together, only to find they have much in common.
Both a public album as well as a private album, it suites many moods. Abrasive beginning, heavier midsection, while tender toward the tail end, perhaps the final track being the sweetest, harnessing lonesome eeriness perfectly into folk ballads. Oddly, or perhaps not, the high point of the album might be “Cocaine,” or “Lion Tattoo,” two songs that impart both sadness and a dark perspective, both providing settings adequate for immediate interchangeability for the personal issues specific to the moment, to the occasion.
As a whole, this album is reminiscent of the fogginess after having spent too much time awake, greatly in need of sleep, and trying to make sense of the world with that logic. All of these thoroughly surreal melodies burrow under your skin and remain, chanting their tune over and again, until you feel the need to hum them yourself.