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Ear to the Sound: "When We Were Honest" by The Local Strangers

Photo by Kendall Rock

Photo by Kendall Rock

The Local Strangers are an incredible band with a rich, authentic, sincere sound, and an incredible catalogue of music, but with their new release, "When We Were Honest", they may be at the top of their game.

When I first came to Seattle, I took an uber ride, and my driver put in a CD of The Local Strangers’ Matt and Aubrey playing as a duo. It was a silver, otherwise blank CD with the name "The Local Strangers" hand-written on it. Matt and Aubrey sang so passionately through such well-written, compelling songs, that I was hooked. I've watched their evolution as artists, and I've savored the sonic expansion of The Local Strangers with every release. "When We Were Honest" is a stellar collection of moving, dynamic tracks, and although it's a more ambitious production, it preserves all of the authenticity, passion, and honesty that The Local Strangers are known for.

The arrangements and production are just as sonically dense as on previous releases, but there are also some really imaginative new textures and instrumental choices. It's not necessarily a departure, but there is a bold expansion in the breadth of the band's musical statement. The first track on their album asks "How Do You Like Me Now"? Like you? No, we love you. The harmonies that fans have come to love are taut and passionate, with energetic choruses. "We're Going Down" is also a fantastic track. "Not Missing" is a kinetic track, and exemplifies some of the striking musical choices that show the band's evolution. "Steady" is also a stand-out, and shows that the band still knows how to write and execute a really compelling hook. And tracks like "After the Flood" show that the band still knows how to intimately connect with their listeners.

In summary, if you love The Local Strangers, you'll love them even more after giving a listen to "When We Were Honest". If you haven't heard of this group before, this is a great time to jump on board. And catch The Local Strangers live at the Waterfront Americana Festival, under the Seattle Great Wheel at 4:30 pm on Sunday, Sept 1st.