Local Music Spotlight: Strangers in Daylight
Coerced via Twitter (not really) to write a proper review from Strangers in Daylight bassist, Jamar Mays, on their new single “How Do You Do That?”, I initially replied to his tweet with “It’s good.” But we’ll get to my real review of the single after our casual (forced) email interview. Following last winter’s album, Letters in Transit, the band is preparing for a busy summer, including a performance at ComFest.
Briana Henry: Is there an album coming out?
Jamar Mays: The new album is called, Jimmy Corn Hat Sings the Blues. Actually, it’s called, We’re All Fine, Here, and it’s due out this summer. We love Star Wars and the new record is a line Han Solo gave whilst posing as a storm trooper. Yes. Quite exhilarating.
BH: This is going to be brutal as I’ve never seen any Star Wars movies all the way through.
JM: YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN ANY STAR WARS?!? This interview is over. You go watch Empire Strikes Back right effing now.
BH: Do you think you’ve progressed musically from Letters of Transit?
JM: The progression from Letters to We’re All Fine, Here is definitely there. We’re not so loud or brash and a lot more tasteful this go around. Songwriting has been fairly straightforward but we all agreed at the outset not to remake Letters. We have been successful. Does this mean no rock and roll pulse-makers? No. We’re still a guitar rock band. It just means we’ve allowed the music’s attitude to mature with us. We wrote the first 7 tracks for WAFH as a three piece, tracked and all – later our new guy came in to add his parts after he joined the fold months after. We are planning on tracking a song of his creation for this record and about 3 others we are writing together. I hope listeners can hear the subtle changes between principal songwriters on this record. It might add a spark of character you can’t manufacture.
BH: How did Ryan Horn come to join Strangers in Daylight?
JM: Ryan was initially approached for membership well over a year ago. He has been a good friend of ours for a long time; we’ve always supported one another’s music ventures. At that time he declined our offer in favor of devoting his energy to his other band, but I guess that isn’t so much of an issue now. We’re just glad he’s with us now, finally.
BH: Do you have any plans to play outside of Columbus?
JM: Outside Columbus shows are definitely happening. We want to play NYC fo sho, and a host of other meaningful venues. We’re also trying to get to Nashville to share a stage with friends and Columbus natives, Hotel War, but we’d play in the Arctic if we thought we’d draw a good crowd.
While Strangers in Daylight have morphed themselves into Burt Bacharach’s modern and strangely diverse spawn, this track left me a little dissatisfied. Coming in at a whopping two minutes and 38 seconds, I was disappointed not with the quality of the song, but with thoughts of these gentlemen rolling over to go to sleep, while I stayed awake, frustrated. I had an issue with some of SID’s songs coming up short on their last album, and sadly this single falls within that category. But, the breakdown at 1:12 is killer. It starts simply, but manically, a guitar climaxes, and fades back into the Burt Bacharian song. This part of the track is where I knew SID had, again, produced music for me to add to my summer playlist. With that said, as girthy as this track may be, sometimes size does matter.
“Strangers are excited for everyone to hear the new tunes and see us live! We heart the F out of Columbus and we just want to give y’all a dope beat to step to. Step to.”