Portland-based Strange Ranger is a welcome force for fans of late ’90s/early ’00s sad, slow indie rock. Last month, they premiered two singles off their upcoming sophomore album, Daymoon, that substantiated any comparisons made of them to sad-indie pioneers like Death Cab For Cutie or Elliott Smith: the opening riff on “House Show” is almost identical to that of Death Cab’s “Company Calls Epilogue” and the falsetto on “Sophie” is an unmistakable Smith homage.
Strange Ranger called on some other indie classics today with the release of another single off Daymoon, “Hydration Is Key.” Deep, lo-fi vocals are backed by a simple acoustic guitar and drum beat (somewhat echoing Modest Mouse’s This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About), static, and what sounds like a subdued organ. “Let me into your heart and out of your photos,” Fred Nixon sings. The lyrics are longing yet apathetic, paralleling his murmurous delivery. “Coin operated laundry/ High fiber nine grain bread/ Flies dying in my window/ Show me the way to bed,” Nixon leads the song into a fading outro. Listen via Brooklyn Vegan below .