by Haley Paula Stein
Today STRFKR released their first album in four years, Future Past Life. On the opening track, “Dear Stranger” lead singer Joshua Hodges moans lazily about being all “alone and safe in a room,” eerily resonating with some of us in the 2020 quarantine age through synth-pop psychedelics.
STRFKR are known for smart music that makes you want to dance, and Future Past Life no doubt carries on in this trend. Mellow disco grooves sprinkled throughout the album, like “Deep Dream,” can get your head bopping and foot-tapping as good as any. But through the years, STRFKR has matured, and the tracks on this record feel more downplayed, less house party.
Though more low-key, the production value is strong, and the songs lose little of the catchy appeal STRFKR showed off in earlier albums. The Portland-based group carries on with their signature mopey lyrics recalling vapid youth and perilous love stories, highlighted in tracks like “Second Hand” and “Budapest” featuring Shy Boys.
Broken hearts notwithstanding, STRFKR’s latest record can manage to offer us some “Cold Comfort” in these strange, isolating times through our solo dance/cry sessions. Future Past Life makes for a great, versatile quarantine deep listen – poppy in the right places, light on the beat, heavy on the brood, and satisfying all around.