What Strange Beasts - Starlight's Castaways

What Strange Beasts - Starlight's Castaways

Although What Strange Beasts sing about deep stuff, you know, philosophy, science and the human condition, these heavy topics oftentimes boil down to relatable, everyday ideas. For instance, keyboardist/vocalist Benjamin Ruby was playing something in the studio that prompted Aaron Kremer (bass/synthesizers/vocals) to ask, "How'd you know that's what this song is about," to which Ruby replied, "I could tell by the chords you were playing." To a non-musician, such a conclusion might seem unusual and surprising. However, these players are so in synch with each other, sounds are oftentimes much like a whole other language only they can speak among themselves.

For this self-described psychedelic, prog rock quartet, Starlight's Castaways is a 24-song opus, clocking in at nearly an hour-and-a-half, which is loosely based around "trying to reconnect with someone" that one hasn't spoken to in a long while. Just don't let the labels 'psychedelic' and 'prog' make you think this music is somehow unapproachable. No, take the track "Scattered Skies," which includes some of the prettiest harmony vocals you're likely to hear. While certainly ambitious, musically, this track - which also includes some lovely electronic piano driving it - will certainly appeal to all who appreciate well-constructed pop music.

Labels can often be limited, and such is the case with this project. Much like the band Yes, which came along long before What Strange Beasts, a combination of solid musicianship and strong melodies are always unbeatable sonic features. You'll need to carve out plenty of time to work your way through this effort, but you will in no way be disappointed by this superior recording.


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