80’s-throwback quartet Take Me With You have beefed up their sound since last year’s a building, a dreaming, that album’s skeletal, synth-coated tundra blooming into a rich landscape on the band’s new single, Stranger/Aluminum.
As soon as “Stranger” begins with pizzicato plucks and swirling, digital strings, you know it’s a whole new ballgame for TMWY. A Joy Division winter has become a New Order spring, with noticeably more sophisticated production giving the recording a warm, enveloping atmosphere. Mirroring the way in which the blocky, Magritte-like shapes featured in Stranger/Aluminum‘s artwork resemble a sleek update of a building, a dreaming‘s flatter, more suggestive lines, the new release’s music plays like TMYW’s old sound given three-dimensional space to expand upward and outward. The spacious sonic terrain allows the band members to breathe, Elizabeth Fein’s vocals expressing more dynamic range, keyboards plunking quietly before bursting into ecstatic chimes, and rolling drum programming thundering into the mix at critical junctures in the song. Fein implores an unnamed other, “Don’t be a stranger/Not now,” her operatic emotion amplified by the sweep of the instrumental. The release represents an exciting new step for these synth aficionados