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STRFKR releases “The Vault. Vol. 1.”
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I have a story to tell. I was scrolling through Spotify about five minutes ago, looking at the new releases. I mistakenly threw on an album because I mixed up this artist with an R&B one I occasionally listen to. It was the best mistake I could have possibly made on a lazy day at home.

I was expecting some angst filled tune about hating life when this beach-like vibe came through my iPhone speakers. The band was called STRFKR, an indie band from Portland. They had a new album released called “The Vault. Vol 1,” and it came out on Feb. 7. I automatically saved it, so here are some first impression thoughts.

There are 20 tracks. At first, it threw me off because nobody can sit through more than 11. When looking at the duration of the album, it is only 37 minutes. The mean length of each song was between one and two minutes, nothing crazy. Most songs had faint lyrics and heavy acoustic guitar with mellow one-beat drum rhythms.

I was digging the jump from subgenre to subgenre. It had a mix of standard modern beach songs and some with slight psychedelic tones. “Rachel” sounded like something from Vampire Weekend, and “Only Humans” was identical to the Fleet Foxes. As a whole, this is what would have been produced if Vampire Weekend and the Fleet Foxes worked on a record together and Local Natives threw in a beat here and there.

While the instrumentals were even throughout, the consistency of track durations was not exactly on point. As brought up before, there was a track entitled “Only Humans.” As someone who was fully invested into every song from the beginning, after hearing this I lost all focus. While every tune was short and sweet, this six-minute track dragged.

The reason why the numerous shorter songs worked was because of the simple beat that carried throughout. Someone can only listen to the same five chords for so long without pressing the skip button. If they chopped it in half, it would have been bearable. The song was not my favorite, but all was good because every other tune made up for it.

“Basically” was a favorite. It was the right amount of summer and psychedelic. The two elements blended perfectly together and it is a 10/10 song, and I highly recommend it.

That is all. It is a solid 9/10 album if you are feeling a trippy meets kickback and chill vibe.

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Sarah Biernat, Author

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