North Carolina’s Estrangers‘ last record, Season of 1000 Colors, was a bittersweet sunburst of power pop released back in 2013. Now, the band is prepping their sophomore record, and the first single from that release is “Croc Rock”. The song marks a few shifts in the band’s sound. The song isn’t afraid to murk up and complicate the band’s shimmering pop sensibilities, to leave a bit of coal dust on the diamond. Jangling guitars clash nicely with airy keys over a lean rhythm section that gives the song a pulse while giving its parts space to echo outward. “What would it take to chip your armor?” singer Philip Pledger wonders at the beginning of the song, and then the music answers, cracking its own pop sheen with dusty, scuffed-up guitar solos punctuating each chorus. There’s a lucid-dreamy feel to the track, as if it’s stuck somewhere between the physical and ethereal, between the grit of the earth and some rare shine mined from it. And if the textures of the song weren’t sweet enough, the chorus is stick-in-your-ear catchy and the song bursts with infectious energy. It’s an impressive introduction to the new album, and one that should build some anticipation for its upcoming release.
Estrangers new LP will be out later this year. It was recorded by Missy Thangs (Ex Hex, the Love Language) at Mitch Easter’s Fidelitorium, and will be released, like Season of 1000 Colors, on Phuzz Records.