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Unfamiliar Things Prove “The Strangest Art” is Worth A Second Listen

Unfamiliar Things of L.A. release their full-length self-titled album of hauntingly mixed messages with new single “The Strangest of Art”

Unfamiliar Things - self titled full length album - album art - a racoon wearing a yellow backpack while holding a note treks through the forest.

“Where to begin?” 

These are the first words spoken in “The Strangest of Art,” the new single and lead track on the eponymously titled full-length album by Unfamiliar Things. 

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the album contains “a mix of messages” rather than “mixed messages”, but the variety of tones and feels expressed throughout the alternative indie-rock album lead us to think this kind of ambiguity serves the project.

Last year’s single, “Alternate Worlds” has a singer-songwriter feel accenting acoustic guitars and lush harmonies led by principal creative Matt Levy. January 2023 single, “Most People Are Good” displayed the band’s indie-pop influences with an outcome akin to Death Cab for Cutie and Vampire Weekend. 

“The Strangest of Art” has a groove that sets it apart from whatever you think might have experienced from Unfamiliar Things before. We witness “Ghosts in the halls” as we begin our walkthrough of a haunted mansion that we soon discover to be comparable to our own hearts. The wordplay in use here is evidence you’re going to need to pay attention listening to future tracks, because the narrative and message are beautifully interwoven in ways that only a second listen (or more) may reveal. 

Yet by the time you make the decision, you’ll be smoothly transitioned into the following track, “North Wind,” after which you’ll soon be swept away like “Most People” into “Alternate  Worlds.” Then, just when you think it’s just a trick of the light you find yourself in some “Old Haunts (For Laith).” You may feel safety “In The Flowers” but beware “Roses and Thorns.” Thankfully there are always “Gasoline Rainbows” after a storm (I think that’s how the saying goes).

Then you arrive the closing track, “Marker (Sr27 0.00)” which doesn’t necessarily conclude the journey, but perhaps a placeholder for wherever Unfamiliar things has yet to reveal next. Now you’re ready to start the album over for that second listen of “The Strangest Art,” available now on your favorite platforms and the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify.

If you’re a fan of The Decemberists, Arctic Monkeys, Hozier, or some of those influences mentioned previously, don’t pass up the album.

Daniel Warren Hill

Daniel Warren Hill is an American musician, writer, and motivational speaker. He is best known as the frontman for Washington DC area Alternative Rock band YellowTieGuy, as co-founder of Capitol Groove Collective, and increasing the exposure of artists on a global scale through his work with Alchemical Records. 

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