“…a journey through exotic, electro-tinged and undeniably catchy soundscapes.” – Exclaim!
Canadian duo Strange & Primitive‘s self-titled debut album is a cerebral journey through sound and space. Synth-infused melodies, dissonant beats, off-kilter riffs and emotive vocals fuse together, creating unique and intricate circuitry. Strange & Primitive is an album that feels like a newborn sentient being, its neurons pulsing with dark energy brought to life by the band’s curiosity to explore their musical boundaries.
Originally writing instrumental songs together, Jeff Musgrave and Graham Fish decided that vocals would give the band a more ‘human’ element to the music. The album is full of metaphors, riddles, dark fantasies and the pair’s deepest inner workings as they question people, life, motives, communication and power.
You can also stream the singles via Strange & Primitive’s SoundCloud page.
There’s a distinct 80s flavour to the album, albeit the darker side of the era. Difficulties Be Damned is tense – tribal beats and robotic synths entwine, crescendoing with electronic eloquence. The track is trance-like, with Musgrave channelling Mark Hollis-esque vocals, in homage to influences like Talk Talk. ‘Eureka’ is lighter in comparison but still in keeping with the bands brooding sound. ‘The Hunt Is Over’ harks back to the aforementioned Talk Talk’s moodier moments whilst track ‘Highwayman’ takes us for a drive in the dead of night, synth-laden beats and guitars fuelling the journey as the band steer us towards an end point that seems to mysteriously dim as we get ever closer. ‘Keep Your Eyes On Daylight’ is the one instrumental track on the album, which gives us an insight into the less ‘human’ element of the band, before they decided to add vocals to the proceedings. The 7-minute track breaks the continuity at the exact half-way point of the album as we reach our second act. Its filmic, futuristic quality sounds like a Tron: Legacy soundtrack that could have been.
Jeff and Graham grew up on different sides of Canada. Jeff was born in Osaka, Japan but brought up in Vancouver, with Graham born and raised in Guelph, Ontario. Jeff moved to Guelph to attend University in 2005, where he met Graham after responding to an advert looking for a singer / guitarist. They enjoyed jamming together, infusing their styles, honing their craft and released an instrumental album Melody In The Half-Light in 2012 under the name Audiograft. Self-titled album Strange & Primitive is their latest creation – a rebirth of enmeshed styles, influences and experiences.
In the studio, the pair take on whatever role is required of them with the exception that Jeff sings on every track. As Strange & Primitive they are one heart, one soul, one melodic organism brought to life by music.
Strange & Primitive’s self-titled debut album is released in the UK via The Deep Floor Inc. on 20th November 2015.