Posts Tagged ‘Stranger Today’

In 2006, Michael Gondry released the surrealist science fantasy comedy The Silence of Sleep, apparently based on a bed-time story written by a 10-year-old. Centered around the story of a man who’s dreams and imagination begin to infiltrate his reality, it’s also inspired the latest video from melodic rock band Our Girl.

Made up of Soph Nathan, Josh Tyler and Lauren Wilson, the three-piece have been tipped for greatness left, right and centre. Now with their eagerly awaited debut album Stranger Today set to wow us on 17th August, they’re giving us a little taste of the magic to come with new track “In My Head”. Born during a time of big personal change in Nathan’s life, the accompanying video – released today! – channels the lyrics which “toe the line between the reality of the situation, vs the alternate version in your head, of how you wish something could’ve gone.”

Directed by Tayo Kopfer, the video uses stop animation and surreal imagery to explore the difference between reality and dreams in a visually stunning and hypnotic way. As Nathan states, “We took inspiration from a film we love called Science of Sleep, which has a lot of weird and wonderful surreal imagery in it. It uses stop motion and other beautiful and psychedelic techniques to explore the cross over between dreams and reality. We wanted to create a similar world for ‘In My Head’. The song explores the claustrophobia of love and regret, and the lyrics toe the line between the reality of a situation, vs the alternate version in your head, of how you wish something could have gone. It felt natural to us to use stop motion to create that feeling, and Lauren had the idea that our heads could be opening up with all sorts of imagery and thoughts coming out. Tayo took that idea and made something really cool!”

 

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At first, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes Our Girl so special, or why the Brighton-formed, London-based trio’s music stands out within a busy crowd of fellow guitar-wielding-types. But if an explanation didn’t jump out when they first emerged with a debut EP of mighty fuzz-soaked songs in November 2016, it surfaces with ‘Stranger Today’, a debut album of personal, emotional juggernauts that could have only been made by these three people: Guitarist / vocalist Soph Nathan, bassist Josh Tyler and drummer Lauren Wilson.

This fantastic debut captures this dreampowertrio evolving from startling noisiness to sweet songwriting excellence, we’ve known that something special happens when these three get together ever since we first laid ears on their early, startlingly noisy live shows. that surprising volume still explodes at times here, for this is a band still in thrall to the racket that stirs when they lock horns. it makes for a thrilling and gorgeous ride through a set of songs with heft, hooks, and heart. a blissful, dreamy haze that you’ll want to relive again and again. indie that whips and swirls with uncompromising force.”

Since forming in Nathan and Tyler’s Brighton home four years ago – Wilson joining as a late recruit when she was wowed by a demo of their self-titled debut track, and ‘Stranger Today’’s opener – Our Girl’s members have only had pockets of time to work together. A day booked in a local studio here, a soundcheck there, full-time jobs and other projects meant the three rarely had a concentrated, collective patch. This changed in September 2017, when they stayed in Eve Studios in Stockport for a week, recording with Bill Ryder-Jones. Their week in Stockport became a crucial catalyst for what would follow. Ryder-Jones is a guitar virtuoso himself (“He did stuff neither me or Soph had ever seen anyone do before,” Tyler remarks), and he became an unofficial fourth member of the group.

‘Stranger Today’ is a special debut for several reasons: First, because it’s the sound of a band beginning to grasp their own value and place in the world. Secondly, because you can hear the trio’s hunger to finally get in the same room and put to tape years’ worth of scrapbooks, half-finished ideas, and a slowly-forming feel for how their first album would actually sound. “What band isn’t itching to make their debut? But it’s quite frightening, knowing you’re about to do it,” Wilson remembers.

The real clincher, however, is Our Girl’s dynamic, and how it plays out across ‘Stranger Today’. Best friends in person, the trio share the same close kinship and chemistry on record. On one side is Nathan’s visceral lyricism, which has a habit of detailing and chipping away at precise moments; the first heart-flutter of a new crush; the moment a long-term friendship begins to ebb away. Around her, Tyler and Wilson’s rhythm section carefully mirrors each feeling Nathan conveys. When she sings pointedly about love (‘I Really Like It’), she’s backed by a major-key afterglow. When the subject turns on its head (‘Josephine’), out steps a wall of taut, earth-shaking noise. They each “serve the song,” in Wilson’s words, moving in sync but with their own personal slant. Not least on the closer ‘Boring’, where all restraint is thrown aside and the trio let out one final, violent thrash. They inhabit a space bigger than the first loves, sleepless nights and growing pains that define this record.

Nathan remembers being in Brighton four years ago, shortly after Our Girl formed, and realising, “I was finally in the band I wanted to be in.” Almost half a decade later, and this eureka moment is sewn up on ‘Stranger Today’. It’s the sound of three friends totally at ease in their own space, discontent with being anywhere else; a vibrant document of what it’s like to be young, invigorated and amongst people who feel the same.

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