Interestingly, Stray Kites, a duo from Virginia, got in touch with us via Facebook. Not even through our meagre group (that you can join HERE) but just by getting in touch with me via my personal account because we both liked similar artists. I’m glad they did too, Stray Kites are doing something that sounds pretty different, full of qualities that make it very hard to pin down, but is all the more listenable for it.
They’ve been labelled as post-pretentious, an arguably paradoxical labelling that can only really mean they are still in a state of pretentiousness, which would be thoroughly unfair.
I’m reluctant therefore to even attempt to pigeonhole them. There are clearly folk and acoustic influences, but then there’s a lot of stringed instruments used, that’s an easy assumption to make! There are also some fairly curious lyrics, particularly in Misanthrope, as well as (for those of you who don’t what this mean, like I didn’t, it’s a person who dislikes humankind and society… cheerful) a driving sense of urgency that keeps the song rattling along with the help of some frenetic guitar to keep things going with a interesting diversion in the form of a Harmonica.
All Is Well also keeps this same obscure whilst innately catchy sound that Stray Kites revel in, the metaphorical lyricism may be of course the reasoning for the paradoxically pretentious labelling, but then abstract and pretentious shouldn’t necessarily be categorised with each other, Stray Kites are not forcing their impressions upon you, we choose to listen.
Stray Kites are certainly interesting, with a ‘music is to be enjoyed, so have it free’ mentality and a clear ability to write something that whilst simple and abstract, can still keep you entertained and stay with you for a while. It may be hard to pin down exactly what it is about Stray Kites that make them appealing, but that’s no reason not to enjoy and appreciate them, a certain element of revelling in the unknown shining through!
Head over to their BandCamp to check out their album ‘One Day, Earth Time’ and some far better, and more eloquent, reasons for why they believe people shouldn’t have to pay for their music. We’re not complaining.