Strange Ranger have been putting out music at a steady clip basically ever since Isaac Eiger and Fred Nixon started playing together during high school in Montana. Since 2016, the Portland-based group has released two full-lengths, Rot Forever and last year’s Daymoon, and an EP, Sunbeams Through Your Head. The band, which now also includes drummer Nathan Tucker, is already hard at work on their third album, which is due out next year, but during the process of recording that they also churned out a brand-new EP, which is coming out next month.
You’d think with all those balls up in the air that quality might suffer, but Strange Ranger keep on hitting that sweet spot. In fact, “New Hair” might be one of their best yet, or at least one of the most precise distillations of the band’s melodic nerviness. It’s in and out in under two minutes, but it’s a perfect exhalation of passivity and mild disappointment: “It’s December and do you know/ How it all went by?” Eiger sings. “I have new hair/ Though I make no decisions/ Show up and glare/ What if I ever listened? They told me it’d all be so great someday.”
01 “New Hair”
02 “I Want It To Be Dark”
03 “The Wires”
How It All Went By is out 10/12 via Tiny Engines. Pre-order it here.