WILLIAM ALEXANDER: STRANGEST THINGS
There was a more than a little well-deserved buzz surrounding his 2014 release Girl’s Basketball, and now William Alexander has done it again with his new Strangest Things. It’s a blend of 60s-style pop-melody wizardry and space-y samples and loops, and it presents Alexander as a California pop songwriter in the Beach Boys tradition. However, his combination of sunny melodies with introspective lyrics and plenty of technological fiddling is as much in debt to acts like Animal Collective as it is to Brian Wilson. Songs like the summery “Lost In The Fire” and “Strangest Things” (with it’s inescapable looped fuzz riff) show off Alexander’s deft hand at writing a hook, while “I Won’t Bite” and “Giant Fade” are more vibe-y and aimless—not aimless in a bad way, but in a gentle way that eases the listener in and envelops them in muffled hip-hop-inflected beats and Alexander’s breathy and distant vocals. Clocking in at 5:12, “Big Mistakes,” is the longest song on the album, as well as the weightiest—it’s a moody rumination with booming tom-toms and a haunting, smoldering feel that pairs perfectly with the closer “I Never Know The Truth,” which straddles the line between an un-plugged Growlers and a tripped-out Allah-Las. If you like melodic surf-y psychedelic lo-fi goodness, try Strangest Things on for size.