At this, the tail end of western civilization, it has been roundly agreed that STRFKR are the greatest band of all time. As all constructs, political and spiritual, both real and imagined crumble into time like pieces of wet cake, STRFKR champion the good vibe. The band’s inclination toward beauty is without question. It is their ability to manifest the holiest of dance floor silhouettes that will be referenced by survivors of the great decline. “Listen,” people will say “STRFKR will help the plants grow“. And the band’s entire catalog will be played to growing seeds. Peace will be restored in the valleys, cows will be happy, waters will be purified. There will be greenery and good things. Today, STRFKR have secured a happier future for us all with the release of a new track, “Never the Same”. And holy goodness, it’s pretty as fuck.
We may have got a little bit carried away there for a moment. But any day that STRFKR record music, release music or play a show is a good day. And today, with “Never the Same” Josh Hodges and his cohort have provided the prettiest issue of their already beautiful catalog.
Undressed, and devoid of the multi-layered synths that populate much of STRFKR’s back catalog, “Never The Same” offers a tone of completion in ‘otherness’. Fans of the band will have known this was coming. In 2017 the band released three extensive albums The Vault Vol 1-3, which showed the lo-fi sketchpad of Hodges. Here, that lo-fi heart is exposed again – but with a broader intention, never vaulted away – always with an intention of sharing.
It’s in these stripped back moments or in the after-parties and personal moments spent with STRFKR, that their more subtle energies are revealed. The shitty algorithms and lazy critics of the world will place STRFKR in the synth-pop spectrum, because they hear synths, and feel pop progressions. That’s as helpful as saying Jackson Pollock and Sandro Botticelli belong in the same category because they both fucked about with paint. But it’s here, in a deceptively simple song like “Never The Same” where the distinction between STRFKR and their peers is revealed.
Hodges has a knack for hoisting personal banners and allowing people to find the unifying element between their experience and his. In “Never the Same” he works familiar, surprising magic. He speaks of an individual with brown eyes, and the eyes of a mother. But, actually what this is about is a continuing connection between all things. “What I don’t know about love” he sings, as he lets go of an idea – but not of love, itself.
Y’know – Paul McCartney was once asked about the legacy of The Beatles. He said something about pride, and how that pride came from looking at the content of many of the Fab Four’s songs. LOVE, really colored their intention. The same can be said for STRFKR. They deploy a metamodern awareness of construct – and then they mindfully make shit that makes sense on an emotive, intuitive level – exploring artifice to produce the authentic. They bring it all together – always, it seems with an enquiry of love, or compassion in action.
Maybe this is all hyperbole. Maybe it’s not. Today is Friday. STRFKR have a new track out. It’s fucking wonderful, and that’s enough for now. And also the future. May there be peace in your valley.
Catch ’em on tour. Dates below.
HURRY – BUY – STRFKR MUSIC
PHOTOGRAPH BY COCO FOTO
03/27 – Anchorage, AK @ Williwaw
03/28 – Girdwood, AK @ The Sitzmark [SOLD OUT]
04/27 – Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall #
04/28 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall #
04/29 – Boston, MA @ Royale #
04/30 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel #
05/01 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club #
05/02 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer #
05/03 – Richmond, VA @ The National #
05/05 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel #
05/06 – Savannah, GA @ Victory North #
05/07 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse #
05/08 – Knoxville, TN @ The Mill and Mine #
05/09 – Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall #
05/10 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall #
05/12 – Kansas City, MO @ Madrid Theater #
05/13 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue #
05/14 – Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom #
05/15 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall #
06/04 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Park #
06/05 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo #
06/06 – San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom #
06/09 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox #
06/11 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom #
06/12 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom #
06/15 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory #
06/16 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot #
06/17 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre #
06/19 – Dallas, TX @ Canton Hall #
06/20 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s #
06/21 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall #
06/22 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger #
06/24 – Santa Fe, NM @ Santa Fe Brewing Company #
06/25 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren #
06/26 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl #
# w/ The Undercover Dream Lovers