Strangers picks up the momentum for Eureka Birds after a three-year silence in recorded materials following 2010’s EP Eureka! and their 2008 self-titled debut. In the realm of indie pop records, this one hits all the right nails on the head between the subtle use of electronica, crystal clear harmonies and delicate though emotional delivery in singer Justin Levy’s voice.
If there’s one defining characteristic that sets this album apart from their debut full-length, it’s a heavier reliance on synth. While it keeps up with current trends in production of this kind of music, it shows just how much the group has evolved in the last six years. Most prominently heard in “No Stranger To Heartache,” it does feel a little like it came out of left field for Eureka Birds, as it adds a little something new to get them out of the rut and showcases that there is growth in the mix.
Strangers gives you a well-rounded list of songs, from somber and emotionally-charged cuts like “Mila Don’t Make A Sound” and closing track “Come On,” and those that carry with them vivid brightness and colorful pop tones like “Fastest” and “Spaceman.” The arrangement and style of each track on this album, however, doesn’t take away from the emotional depth that’s presented lyrically. One thing that’s only gotten better with time is Levy and the group’s ability to convey intellectual themes with an enjoyable and easy listening sort of backdrop.
The indie pop genre is one of many that’s often oversaturated with rehashes of the same music, but Eureka Birds represent themselves and their music with a degree of integrity all their own. Strangers is, all in all, a great album for fans of the genre, or just someone looking to hear some tunes fit for a cool autumn’s day in the park.
In A Word: Calm