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It’s only been a few months since Strange Names landed in New York City, but the time for this daring pop trio has most definitely come. On May 19, 2015, this triumvirate of twenty-somethings—Fletcher Aleckson, Francis Ximenez and Liam Benzvi—is releasing Use Your Time Wisely, a firecracker debut LP jammed with energetic, angular, romantic songs that sound at once ageless and completely contemporary.
The band recorded Use Your Time Wisely at The End in Brooklyn, New York, with producer Andrew Maury, and found the sort of sound they think best fits their music. What they ended up with was a collection of TK driving songs that are deceptively simple, raucously compelling and defiantly youthful.
The album’s first single, “Ricochet,” is a prime example. “There are some songs on the record with profound lyrics that come from a place of great pain,” explains Ximenez, “but this song’s lyrics are just about trying to get with someone at a party.”
Other tracks, like the unforgettable “Neighborhood,” use a similarly easy-to-swallow delivery to take on the idea of finding your place in the world. But nothing ever gets too heavy. Indeed, the guys strive to echo the inclusive vibe of the New Wave bands they love, groups like the B-52s, Human League and the Talking Heads that didn’t leave anyone out of their party.
Now, with the release of Use Your Time Wisely, Strange Names has made an album that not only holds on to the dynamism that’s been apparent since those early tracks but also displays their progress and undeniable forward momentum.