Ever since our favorite blog, The Grey Estates, introduced us to the Minneapolis-based band Strange Relations, we’ve been stuck in a wormhole of Siouxsie Sioux-like shadows and the ethereal, fluttering ashes of long evenings and neon tinged bars. Essentially, it’s near-impossible to not feel yourself in the trenches of similar memories.
With “Ceremonies”, Strange Relations uses the unhinged, ink-scribbled doors of questionable drinking holes to paint a textured narrative of mercurial abandon: The battered billiard cloth of beer-flecked pool tables. Ringing pockets full of fingerprinted change. The glib restlessness of whistling through the graveyard. It’s one of the true, uncompromising songs of the year. Where the specter of old cigarettes and impassioned confusion bottlenecks with equal parts anxiety and hope.
And the composition is hauntingly profound. It’s hard not to feel swept out into a sea of lampposts and idle street lights. The band has distilled the hopelessness and joy (what a fucked dichotomy) of going out, fearlessly, for the benefit of undetermined emotions. So many mixed feelings rattling around in this sonic Yahtzee cup.
In the Lucila Mariani directed video for “Ceremonies”, the grime, fun house mirrors, and self-medication is aesthetically present. It’s a mosaic of backpacks being slung, cavalierly, over shoulders. The self-assured crisscrossing of roller skates. And a litany of impatient looks. This is the perfect visual sidecar for one of the most ridiculously affecting tracks of 2016 – and one that could go back-to-back with a certain Japanese Breakfast cut. Here’s to getting lost.