Strangely Alright – Inside A Place/Psych Film – Review

Strangely AlrightDubbing their group as the Eclectic Traveling Minstrel Magic Music Medicine Show, quintet Strangely Alright gives you psychedelic rock with a small hint of synth waves. Formed in 2015 and based in Tacoma, Washington, Strangely Alright features vocalist Regan Lane, guitarist Sean Van Dommelen, bassist Ken Schaff, keyboardist Raymond Hayden, and drummer Jason Bair. Strangely Alright just released a series of new singles, including two songs earlier in May entitled, “Inside A Place” and “Psych Film.”

Strangely Alright – Inside A Place

Released May 5, “Inside A Place” features a long and stretched out arrangement, totaling just over nine minutes in duration. The music doesn’t feel the need to rush, instead it rather just grooves along slowly and surely with intention. Starting with the ring of a church bell and then a low, thumping bass line, ethereal synth waves shimmer into the mix right before the guitar and drums kick in. Lane’s vocals are a whispered speak-tone at first, and then they open up into being sung up the octave in the chorus. The vibes are chill and rock-steady, with inspirational lyrics about embracing every weird part of yourself and how it takes bravery to do that.

“Inside A Place” is full of catchy instrumental arrangements and a captivating guitar solo about halfway through, followed by an epic stop-time moment that explodes into silence as a quiet new section peeks in with a twinkling piano melody and warbled whispers of the vocal hook, “I want to live inside a place that I don’t know.”

As enthralling as this whole song is, it could’ve made its point in about half the time. A spoken inspirational message occurs at the very end, written in prose and no longer lyric form, breaking that fourth wall between music and direct conversation with the listener for an interesting end.

“Psych Film” runs at about half the duration of the previous tune at five and a half minutes. Beginning with an agitated guitar melody and heavy drumbeat to start things right off, things quickly develop into a spacious trance-like atmosphere, with synths waving across the background like small gusts of wind. The lyrics are slightly theatrical similar to David Bowie, yet are also very psychedelic in nature with threads of thoughts that seem to drift from one to the next with blissful ease but no other actual connection: “There’s a tiny thread that I cannot see, But I feel it when I touch it with an open mind”

The drums experiment with a halftime feel that is super groovy and low key, providing the perfect mood and setting for a trippy situation. Lane’s lyrics address human nature and embody how psychedelics can release you from the binds of societal presets. Strangely Alright’s new singles are both psychedelic dreamscapes filtered through the lens of theatrical rock and inspirational vibes.

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