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‘Stranger Today’ is a special debut for several reasons: First, because it’s the sound of a band beginning to grasp their own value and place in the world, one pep talk at a time. Secondly, because you can hear the trio’s hunger to finally get in the same room and put to tape years’ worth of scrapbooks, half-finished ideas, and a slowly-forming feel for how their first album would actually sound.
The real clincher, however, is Our Girl’s dynamic, and how it plays out across ‘Stranger Today’. Best friends in person, the trio share the same close kinship and chemistry on record. On one side is Nathan’s visceral lyricism, which has a habit of detailing and chipping away at precise moments; the first heart-flutter of a new crush; the moment a long-term friendship begins to ebb away. Around her, Tyler and Wilson’s rhythm section carefully mirrors each feeling Nathan conveys. When she sings pointedly about love (‘I Really Like It’), she’s backed by a major-key afterglow. When the subject turns on its head (‘Josephine’), out steps a wall of taut, earth-shaking noise. They each “serve the song,” in Wilson’s words, moving in sync but with their own personal slant. Not least on the closer ‘Boring’, where all restraint is thrown aside and the trio let out one final, violent thrash. They inhabit a space bigger than the first loves, sleepless nights and growing pains that define this record.
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