Last week, Strange Names was a Guardian Music band of the week but you did actually hear it here first.
Strange Names isn’t a description of an obscure festival lineup, but three musicians who met up in Minneapolis, and “bonded on similar aesthetics.” This trio of appealing twenty-somethings are set to burst out this summer with their danceable, shimmery summer songs, shot through with energy from the New Wave bands they love, like Human League and the B52s. Synths, punchy drums, and revealing lyrics wrap retro in a modern perspective. Now based in Brooklyn, Fletcher Aleckson, Francis Ximenez and New York native Liam Benzvi came up with “Ricochet,” which Entertainment Weekly said will “get your summer started early.” The video, filmed in a warehouse in Bushwick, was a highlight on BlackBook, and Yeasayer has now done a remix of the track. All this is leading up to the release of the first album, Use Your Time Wisely, out May 19 on Frenchkiss, and the band will be touring to promote the album, starting off with a few shows in NYC supporting Azealia Banks. Northern Transmissions caught up with the three in a rare down moment right before they were due to play a club. Alice Severin spoke with Strange Names about perfectionism, honesty, and influences.
We just, you know, we appreciate bands from the past that have this sort of vibe about them, that they can bring anyone to the party, like the B52s. Some people might have thought they were weird, but they never tried to alienate anyone. They just wanted to make good songs, that could speak to as many people as possible, and I think that’s what we want to do too.