STRANGE NAMES PREMIERE "RICOCHET" ON ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
Announce Debut LP 'Use Your Time Wisely' on Frenchkiss - 5.19
￼Pre-Order Use Your Time Wisely Now
Listen to "Richochet" on Entertainment Weekly
Strange Names Play Mercury Lounge in New York City on April 8th
It’s only been a few months since Strange Names landed in New York City, but the time for this daring pop trio has most definitely come.
On May 19, 2015, this triumvirate of twenty-somethings—Fletcher Aleckson, Francis Ximenez and Liam Benzvi—is releasing Use Your Time Wisely, a firecracker debut LP jammed with energetic, angular, romantic songs that sound at once ageless and completely contemporary.
The band came together while Ximenez and Benzvi were students at the University Of Minnesota; they were each part of other groups but ditched them to play together. The pair cycled through a series of bassists and drummers, until after their fifth show Aleckson approached them and said, "Francis, you know what the problem is here. Give me a call when you want to upgrade." With that, the group cemented itself as a three-piece and one of the Twin Cities’ most talked-about acts until, with an eye toward bigger things—and graduation over and done with—the band picked up and moved to New York.
While Strange Names’ rambunctious sound and sly take on modern life is completely of the moment, the band, which came together amidst the close-knit Minneapolis music scene, can’t help but see their first record as something of a second chance.
“This record was fully recorded back in Minneapolis and then we re-recorded it when we got to New York,” Benzvi explains. “And this one is so much better. We wanted to get it right; we had to.”
What they ended up with was a collection of TK driving songs that are deceptively simple, raucously compelling and defiantly youthful.
The album’s first single, “Ricochet,” is a prime example. “There are some songs on the record with profound lyrics that come from a place of great pain,” explains Ximenez, “but this song’s lyrics are just about trying to get with someone at a party.” There’s more to it than just getting laid, however: The song addresses the push-and-pull of ideas and of people; it addresses the contradictions of love and lust—and you can dance to it.
Other tracks, like the unforgettable “Neighborhood,” use a similarly easy-to-swallow delivery to take on the idea of finding your place in the world. But nothing ever gets too heavy. Indeed, the guys strive to echo the inclusive vibe of the New Wave bands they love, groups like the B-52s, Human League and the Talking Heads that didn’t leave anyone out of their party. “We’re always fighting the avant-garde within us,” Ximenez says with a smile. “We’re trying to find a middle ground where the music sounds like us but is still accessible.”
The band recorded Use Your Time Wisely at The End in Brooklyn, New York, with producer Andrew Maury, and found the sort of sound they think best fits their music.
“When we first recorded, we did it in a large studio and it came out sounding kind of garage rock, even though that’s not our style,” Benzvi explains. This new process was in a small room, something real cozy like a blown-up version of recording in a bedroom, and we got a really clean and controlled sound.”
Since they first posted demo tracks online, buzz around Strange Names has been growing steadily. Ximenez recalls, “There was a moment in the first semester of our senior year when we were finishing our degrees but didn’t know what we were going to do with ourselves. At the same time, we’d been making music and as soon as we put it up online, we started getting emails asking, ‘What is this.’”
What those early adopters heard was the beginning of something exciting, energetic and undeniably enjoyable. Now, with the release of Use Your Time Wisely, Strange Names has made an album that not only holds on to the dynamism that’s been apparent since those early tracks but also displays their progress and undeniable forward momentum.
It’s something they think has been meant to be since they first started out. “It just seemed right,” Benzvi says. “It was what was supposed to happen.”
03. I Can't Control Myself
04. Supernatural Silence
05. Only Boy
06. Where & Why
09. Brick City
10. Love & Truth (Is There A Place)
11. Overused Phrase
The Bright Light Social Hour Unveils Full Album Space Is Still the Place on Yahoo!
Out March 10, 2015 on Frenchkiss Records
Austin psych rock outfit The Bright Light Social Hour has premiered their new album Space Is Still the Place in full on Yahoo! Music – Press here to listen to the 10-track album, out on March 10th via
Frenchkiss Records. Press here to stream the band’s album on their YouTube channel!
Press here to pre-order the album.
The band will celebrate the album release on Thursday 3/5 and Friday 3/6 with shows at Mercury Lounge in New York. They will also make a stop in Philadelphia on Saturday before headlining Stubb’s in their hometown, Austin, TX on Friday March 27th. Their full Spring tour kicks off March 31 in New Orleans and will make stops in Atlanta, Tampa, Chicago, Los Angeles and more. See full routing below and press here (http://www.thebrightlightsocialhour.com/dates.html) for more information!
Space Is Still the Place encompasses the idea of a “Future South,” which was developed by the band after touring across the country, heavily in the South, over the last few years. press here to watch the music video for lead single “Infinite Cities.”
Press here to pre-order the vinyl edition of the album.
Praise for The Bright Light Social Hour:
“No matter how much research you put into figuring out who will be the hottest new artists of each year, another act comes into your vision with an output that absolutely blows you away.” – The Huffington Post
“’Slipstream’, is a lush, space-western odyssey. Rolling in with a plodding bass line and restrained drumming, the track builds slowly before a hypnotic guitar riff oozes into the mix.’” – Consequence of Sound
“This band brings a live rawness that masterfully bleeds into their records. It’s an unmatched je ne sais quoi that makes their sound relatable to the listener and devoid of condescension” – Life + Times
“The once psych-rock track [Infinite Cities (Francis Preve Remix)] has a whole new sound that may surprise you, as it has taken on a house beat to carry you straight onto the dance floor.” – Earmilk
“Austin is a perpetual hotbed for new and boundaries-pushing music, with psych-rock band The Bright Light Social Hour standing out as a forerunner in 2015.” – Yahoo! Music
Life+Times Video Premiere: The Bright Light Social Hour “Infinite Cities”
Whether it’s Stubb’s in Austin or Mercury Lounge in NYC, this band brings a live rawness that masterfully bleeds into their records. It’s an unmatched je ne sais quoi that makes their sound relatable to the listener and devoid of condescension. Their level of musicianship paired with creativity is apparent in their visual art too. Regarding the exclusive Life + Times premiere of the “Infinite Cities” music video, Jack states that he “wanted to recreate a day in our (TBLSH) life on tour, mainly from the perspective of our drummer, Jo (Joseph), who happens to live with bipolar II.” The video, shot near their home studio on Lake Travis outside of Austin, captures an unexpected “post-apocalyptic” landscape. Jack adds, “In the video, he struggles with depression [and] depersonalization as the band travels and arrives in a strange place where colorful people open our minds, and we share music with them.”
“Infinite Cities” has a double meaning that also speaks to inner strength. Curtis further adds, “’Infinite Cities’ came up from a few particularly long stretches on the road. There’s an ache in the remoteness, a sense of isolation and estrangement, but also a quiet discovery of home and peace in a shifting setting. Lonely, but buoyed by a kind of family born in distance.”
Click here to pre-order Space is Still the Place.