Best Album of 2015 To: Put On When You Don’t Know What You Want To Hear And The Dashboard Isn’t Melted

First Bite: “Lampshades on Fire”

As a huge fan of We Were Dead, you’d think my expectations would be high for this release. But in the eight years that followed, my expectations returned to, well, modest. This album brings a diverse collection of influences and sounds, playing like a Modest Mouse radio show. A slow strings opener, followed by its catchiest tune Lampshades, something called Shit In Your Cut, and then right into Modest Mouse by way of Nine Inch Nails. Released during my inaugural visit to Austin, Strangers to Ourselves proved a fitting soundtrack for discovery in a “foreign land.” Before leaving, I picked up the album on vinyl as a host gift. With the needle in the groove, the speakers give space to the layered and expansive gamut of instrumentation that accompany Isaac’s unique brand of growls, snarls, and whispers. When it comes to purchasing newly released records, I rarely spend the money before knowing that the album deserves a spot in the collection. If the album proves worthy of purchasing, the vinyl comes into play after those precious inaugural listens have already occurred digitally. When acquiring the wax upon release (and the music delivers), falling in love with an album on vinyl is like wrapping yourself in the world’s softest blanket as you listen to rain on a window. You’re welcome, Evan. Can’t wait to spin it again soon.

Carter Stanton

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