Kane Strang is in a weird section of the music scene. Traditionally you would have categorised him as a singer/songwriter but that genre has become so broad that it is meaningless, I mean how annoyed would you be if your individual artists didn’t write their own songs (cough – mainstream pop – the lot of you, for shame! – cough). Now the scope has changed and you’d probably shove him in that ‘bedroom-pop’ genre-shaped cubby hole.
But really, what does that mean? Does it mean they exclusively make dreamy music, that they are tracks crafted in an amateurish way, lacking the glimmer of most pop?
What I think it means, especially in reference to Mr Strang, is that this is music indicative and personal to the artist, so idiosyncratic of the personality that it feels unique but also comparable to your own emotions that it is universal. Your bedroom is beloved and unique to you, but most people can connect with why it is so special to you, because they likely have their own.
Phew! Bedroom Pop done. Now on to the matter at hand.
The new LP from Kane Strang is some truly brilliant bedroom pop (smh), out now on Dead Oceans, Two Hearts and No Brain is something so veracious and collectible that it practically jumps from the speakers in to your brain. The tracks are a symbiotic relationship between heart and mind, as you might expect, but the nonchalance with which this dichotomy is noted and enjoyed is impressive for such a young talent. And the music is to go alongside it is bloody brilliant an all.
The experimentation with vocoders and synth is welcomed amid an otherwise predominantly guitar-led album; it shows Strang’s want to explore further creativity to express himself. Always a welcome sign in our opinion. The mix of light and shade is seamless and the ability to portray one within the guise of the other is more than pleasurable and seen throughout the record (see ‘Summertime in Your Lounge’). It’s an album built out of something extremely solid, an artistic foundation that belies Strang’s years.
There’s also something extremely relatable about every Strang lyric, from the opener ‘Lagoons’ to the brilliant singles ‘Oh So You Are Off I See’ and ‘My Smile Is Extinct’, he manages to craft something personal and universal at the same time – no mean feat. It feels intelligent and concise, far removed from the usual fodder we see in the indie genre.
Therein lies what makes Kane Strang so different, and why he is adding so many fans to his already impressive hoard; he is managing to craft music and lyrics which connect to the fans, but that he would’ve written and played to an empty room.
So yes, you may be able to box this one up and scribble ‘Bedroom Pop’ in your best permanent marker, but one thing is for sure; nobody is making bedroom pop like Kane Strang right now.
Go buy this album or regret it.