For some songs, the music video is essentially a How To Listen instruction tape. I mean, have you ever treated yourself to OK Go’s ‘Here It Goes Again’ while on a treadmill? Or listened to Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’ while walking along Berkshire’s Studland Beach on a rainy day? The synergy between sound and vision certainly works for Strange Ranger’s ‘She’s on Fire’, a new offering from their forthcoming LP ‘Pure Music’, released through taste-making New York label Fire Talk (Cola, The Dare, Mandy, Indiana).
‘She’s on Fire’ is quite simply a sublime soundtrack for a blissful 7 am drive home after an adventurous night. You can feel Monday morning creeping up in the undercurrent of the uncanny song, but it’s still just far away enough to enjoy one last, communal cigarette without thinking all too much about the consequences.. It’s a cool song, for sure, but there’s also a soothing sense of warmth to ‘She’s on Fire’ that allows you to spin this track again and again and again.
While the song was recorded at a cabin in upstate New York, the melancholy at its heart is most definitely of the metropolitan kind. Opening on a 80s-indebted, ‘The Way It Is’-esque piano arpeggio, Strange Ranger swiftly broaden the track’s horizon with electronics reminiscent of early Hudson Mohawke. Throughout, the NYC-via-Philadelphia four piece don’t hide their fascination with My Bloody Valentine, and there’s even some anthemic, Britpop-style vocals at play here.
Perhaps the most peculiar thing about ‘She’s on Fire’ is that Strange Ranger manage to wear their influences on their sleeve as well as to mix them into a cohesive sound of their own. It’s a testament to their artistic flexibility, which has seen them shift from a lo-fi indie rock quartet into one of the most exciting experimental pop acts around. How great to witness a band who didn’t feel like they had to change their name or start a side project when they transformed, and who don’t make ‘pop’ music because they think it will get them attention, but simply because they want to. They’re on fire.
Photo by Yulissa Benitez
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