Popstrangers’ first record Antipodes made a lot of people sit up and pay attention to New Zealand music. They also released one of my favourite singles last year, the understated ‘Rats in The Palm Trees’. So when new stuff from them ambled onto my radar, I got psyched.
And they didn’t disappoint. Typically for these guys, ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ has the kind of vocal hook that runs around in your head for days, annoying if it wasn’t so bloody good. Where ‘Rats In The Palm Trees’ and previous single ‘Country Kills’ were pretty straight, kinda disillusioned slacker rock songs, ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ has so much going on it’s hard to know where to start.
What’s going on with that bass sound? I’m into it. And hey, it gets cool and dark with just bass, drums and vocals in the verse, and wow, then things go like full Grizzly Bear-pretty (which is ultimate-boss-level prettiness) with that guitar in the chorus. Hang on, I gotta listen to it again.
‘Don’t Be Afraid’ will be out on Popstrangers’ second album Fortuna, hitting shelves and the internet on May 27th.