One of the factors when it comes to reviewing music is being able to tell you, my dear readers, how to access this music I am so fond of listening to and has been sent to me. Strange Hellos album "Chromatic" was sent to me as a private SoundCloud link and then I thought I found a public link for it via the band and label's SoundClouds but it doesn't quite add up. On the private link, the third track is called "Summer" and the fourth is "Is It Me?" but aside from those two songs it seems the same. I did however find links to purchase the album on vinyl as well as Apple Music (iTunes?) which I really don't use.
A certain sense of mystery surrounds this album in that way. With this being the age of the internet, why can't things be simple and at the very tips of our fingers? A Bandcamp link with purchase info for digital, physical and free streaming is ideal (and preferred by me), but sometimes these exceptional pieces of music sort of fly out of reach and you have to grasp for them. I'm never going to be that person who gives up on something because it's too difficult (Such as "I can't find a good place to link this to, so no review") but I feel like others might be.
Yet here I am, spending two paragraphs writing about this album without even saying anything about it. I reached out to the press person who sent me the private link about this and I have just received an email back which might render those previous words obsolete. Regardless, I will keep them there because I want you to know the lengths to which I have gone to try and find this album for you to listen to because I enjoy it that much.
I get sent a lot of music that falls into the category of shoegaze and some of it is all right but a lot of it isn't worth writing about. I'm at a point in my life with it that I've heard so much now it just tends to all sound the same to me in the end. They say this a "new" artist (or new to me any way) and yet I feel like I've heard it before. This is not the case with Strange Hellos. Their sound is fuzzy, so somewhat -gaze to an extent- but it is unique and will stand out from what you are used to listening to along similar lines.
Strange Hellos channel the musical past from The Go-Go's to the musical present of Metric to create their own sound. It's really just a great overall rock record regardless of what genre you want to put it in or who you wish to compare it with. By the end of it, you'll hear songs that a bit softer, closer to that folk rock and that reminds me of Sixpence None the Richer or The Cardigans.
I am perfectly content with being that weirdo who listens to music that other people might not ever understand or appreciate the same way that I do. With Strange Hellos though, I feel there is this capacity with their music that... I don't think they'd ever get radio big, per se, and I mean, what was the last band fronted by a woman you heard on the radio anyway? But I feel like a band like Metric isn't on the radio (as far as I know) but is still extremely successful and has a broad appeal, which I think is where Strange Hellos could ultimately end up.