Ahead of Alex Lahey with Strange Relations in the 7th St Entry on August 1, we got to ask Strange Relations a few questions. Read what they had to say below:

Abi Nesbitt: What have you been up to this summer?

Strange Relations: We have been writing a lot and balancing a lot of big life changes. We just bought our first home (which has room for us to set up a rehearsal space and a very low-key recording situation), so that’s a whole new world for us. This summer marks 1 year since we switched to two-piece mode (as a drum and bass live outfit), so we’re excited to keep writing new material and introducing new and old listeners alike to the new set up and vibe. We’re wrapping up the final details on a new EP we’re looking to put out soon too! Definitely keeping busy. 

AN: Both of you have been releasing music together under Strange Relations since 2013. How does your bedroom demo era compare to where you are now as a band?

SR: We honestly never really had a solid bedroom demo era as a band. We headed into local studios only a few months after forming and writing our first batch of songs because we wanted to hit the ground running. In the past we’ve suggested we’re a “hi-fi bedroom pop” band, but that was meant as a bit of a sarcastic reference to the fact that all bands start out in their bedrooms or practice spaces or what have you and then most elevate the demo to its ultimate release form during the end recording. I still write demos in my bedroom all the time tho, I’m still a Garageband meets Voice Memos kid haha. But as a band… we’ve grown so much over the years, cycled through different members and traveled a bit and shifted our goals as musicians. I would say that if anyone thinks they know what we’re about according to where we were even a year ago, they should check back in and see where we’re at now as a two-piece band. One thing we’re proud of is never settling and continuing to push ourselves and evolve our sound.

AN: Your subgenre “diary rock” feels spot-on—your sound doesn’t quite fit the typical molds of pop, post-punk, or even shoegaze. Has it been important for you to not lump yourselves within the sounds of others?

SR: I think “diary rock” is just a nod to the personal thrust of our work, especially my lyrics. We’ve never been very into heavily branding ourselves, for better or worse. I’m just trying to express the truths of my own experience and try to sort through the world as I see it, in a way that hopefully connects to other people. Our name “Strange Relations” was meant to reflect our place and our intention to not subscribe to a particular sound or image even, to try to make it clear from the outset that we’re out to blend genres and speak to uncomfortable truths and not allow ourselves to be pigeon-holed. But it’s not an act of defiance so much as an honest take on our methodology and perspective; we draw influences from all over and aren’t particularly interested in fitting idealized projections, which isn’t the easiest way to make an impact as a band these days but is what we set out to do. 

AN: What are some art/cultural influences for your music? 

SR: We draw a lot of inspiration from music & cinema we love. Our first full-length -Centrism was inspired by one of my favorite films, Water Lilies, by Celine Sciamma; the artwork, in particular, was directly inspired by that work. We drop lyrical or thematic references like little cultural artifacts, and draw from a range of influence, from the Pixies to Heathers (film) to Barbara Kruger & Cindy Sherman (visual artists) to Catholicism. We are also inspired by our friends’ passion and work, from the local dance group Kelvin Wailey to local curator/musician Brent Penny (of the queer party series ‘Daddy’) to bands like Cayetana, Bad Bad Hats, and JBrekkie.  

AN: Editorial You ends with one of my favorite tracks “Long Haul.” What’s the long haul look like for Strange Relations?

SR: Thank you! That song is definitely a rallying cry to stick it out. We are just looking forward to playing more shows, making new friends, connecting with people, and writing & releasing more songs. Maro & I are ride or die, so no matter what fate holds in store for SR, we’ll be together playing music, writing, making visual art, putting ourselves and our work out there. And hopefully, we’ll be playing many First Ave shows for years to come! 

Blog by Abi Nesbitt (Marketing Intern)