Album Review // Strange Ranger // Pure Music
A gorgeous work that surrounds the listener with a chillingly beautiful aura from start to finish, Strange Ranger's fourth LP, Pure Music might be one of the most underrated albums of the year. Formerly known as Sioux Falls, the Portland, Oregon quartet have crafted 10 tracks that are both experimental and beautifully accessible. While their remarkable 2021 album No Light In Heaven followed a slightly more punk-bent course, this record is a feast of dream pop and neo-psychedelia living somewhere between the synthy explorations of recent The 1975 releases, the post-emo ruminations of bands like waveform* and Greet Death, the expansive ethereal mysticism of the Weather Station and Cassandra Jenkins, the deadpan expressionism of '90s britpop, and shoegaze icons My Bloody Valentine. It's spacey, it's wonderful, and it contains multitudes. The added saxophone by drummer Nathan Tucker is perfect, and helps transcend Pure Music to the next level. Entirely chill, and made for nighttime listening sessions, when you're ready to give it your full attention, their bandcamp noted that this "was made to be heard in private moments between where you've been and where you're going."