‘Stranger Times’ marks the band’s first new music since their 2011 ‘You Call This Freedom’ E.P, and the female fronted quartet have spent the years in-between pouring all they have into the album’s creation: “The album title is a representation of what it was like to make it… they were strange and straining times, but I do feel that the trials and tribulations we encountered really helped to mould the songs and the air of the album. I feel it really has a profound attitude.” An energetic and diverse work bristling with ideas and ambition, ‘Stranger Times’ hops from rock to pop and back again, embracing sparkling synths and subtle electronics along the way, like the soundtrack to a gothic fairy tale. Ashlyn Marshall’s powerful delivery soars atop FTA’s textured terrain, offering up impactful choruses and melodies that twinkle in the album’s dark corners in equal measure. Here guitarist Callum gives you an insight into the release, track by track…
PANGEA: We originally wrote Pangea as a set opener, but when it came to tracking the record it seemed like a really natural way to start the album. We wanted to create an atmosphere as soon as soon as you put the record on.
FOREIGN WORDS: Foreign Words was the first song we wrote for the album. It was a song that we wrote fairly quickly as it just flowed really naturally. It really set the tone for the whole album. Lyrically the song is mainly about feeling alienated by those closest to you. It almost felt like a diary entry to write.
THROUGH THE TREES: Through The Trees was a song that nearly wasn't a song. James came to me with this piano line that he wasn't to sure about, I loved it and could already hear a song around it. After that point we hammered the song out within a few hours. It really came from the gut and we just ran with our instincts. Lyrically it's about feeling like everything is stacked up against you but having the strength and courage to persevere.
DRIVE: This song came from watching too many late night 80s movies, drinking too much coffee and listening to a lot of Bjork. We love the feel of this song and I feel it gives the album another dimension. It's really about our life on the road and in our band. The good and the bad times.
A CLOSE RUN THING: This was actually the last song we wrote for the album and it took various forms before it became what you hear on record. We wanted to make this album as dynamic and diverse as we could and this song kinda felt like the cherry on the cake for us. It was what the album was missing. Lyrically it's probably one of the more personal songs, but it’s up for your interpretation.
WILDWOOD: Wildwood to me feels like a trip fairytale. This song was another fairly quick one to knock together. We were all on the same page and it just kind of materialised within a few days in the studio. This song really is a love letter to our childhoods. But an optimistic outlook on what’s ahead. The future is scary but exciting!
BELIZE: Belize lived in our demo archives for a long time before we decided to blow the cobwebs off of it and turn it into something real. This is personally one of my favourite songs on the album. There are so many different influences in this song from Asian music to Thursday night television. The song really takes you on a journey so you really have to listen to it to get what we're on about. We like to take risks and not always do what people expect of us. We like keeping everyone on their toes, including us.
INEVITABLE: Inevitable is a song inspired by the summers of our youth. The care free feeling of doing whatever you want, whenever you want. It was one of the first songs put together for the album and was arranged over a few weeks. If you've ever been young and in love, you'll get this song.
CELLAR DOOR: This song is about beauty in all forms. Taking the best out of life and being grateful for the world and the people around you. This song is almost just a massive thank you to anyone who's ever believed in us, came to a show, bought a CD, let us sleep on your floor just generally been awesome to us. It's definitely the happiest song on the album lyrically and I feel it’s probably one of the most powerful. A real favourite of ours.
LIVE FREE: Live Free probably took us the longest to write as it took on so many forms before we came to what you hear on the record. We wanted to end the album on a really dramatic note and Live Free just seemed perfect. Its the song I think we"re most proud of as it wasn't an easy song to write at all and when it all came together it was like that EUREKA moment! Lyrically it's about not fitting into a mould and just being your own person. Life is to be lived so live it free.
Stranger Times is slated for release on the 8th of June! Check out the video for 'Foreign Words' below:
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