Foundations: STRFKR

Digging into their musical bedrock...

STRFKR have quietly become one of the more influential acts of their generation. Begun almost as a joke, they’ve flirted with the edges of the mainstream, soundtracking a Juicy Couture ad in the process. Wherever things get too intense, however, they seem to slip away, continually moving to their own speed, on their own path.

New album ‘Parallel Realms’ is out now, and it represents the project’s first full length in four years. Electronic production meets indie rock songwriting, STRFKR’s core values remain in place, but they’ve permitted themselves space to evolve.

Led as ever by Josh Hodges, the four-some work in a unified fashion, with the STRFKR founder commenting: “The album is about the constantly shifting nature of one’s perception or reality, especially about another person and their own shifty nature, and the way those two realities or points of consciousness interact. Basically about the dynamics between two people.”

With the new record on shelves now, Clash spoke to Josh Hodges about his Foundations, the albums that truly matter to him – the titles that frame STRFKR’s creative DNA.

Blonde Redhead – Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons

I think the song ‘In Particular’ might have been the most influential song for this project when I started it. I was a huge fan of theirs in high school.

I remember when this album came out, I heard this song and thought it was great because it almost has a dance beat but was still interesting in that ‘Blonde Redhead’ way. I thought that would be a good intention to hold for STRFKR, trying to make music that is both danceable and nice to listen to on its own.

WHY? – Elephant Eyelash 

I had never heard anything like this record when my friend showed it to me. I actually didn’t like it at first, then I became obsessed with it. It was all I listened to for a while, and I still think it’s a masterpiece.

I love Yoni’s lyrics. They have a journalistic quality to them. Tender and vulnerable and embarrassing. The stuff that one usually filters or doesn’t say out loud.

He’s also hilarious. There are songs that make me laugh out loud and or cry, sometimes in the same song. He blends sentimental, introspective, raunchy and raw all in a few lines. And musically it’s so rare to find a band that feels like they’re really doing something unique and original like this. WHY? represents an energy of authenticity and fearlessness.

Pinback – Pinback

This album was really influential at the time I was learning how to write music. I like their melodies and the way they layer different vocal lines over each other. I think the main thing about this record that informed my songwriting is that songs don’t need to be complex to be moving or effective or whatever.

My early songwriting was heavily influenced by this record in ways I didn’t necessarily notice at the time. I just found a collection of old songs I made and never released from back when I was first learning to write and record, and so many of them I noticed I could trace back to this record.

Neil Young – After The Gold Rush 

My dad had this on vinyl and I used to listen to it every morning getting ready for school. Later, when I started learning how to play guitar I learned most of the songs from this album. Great simple songs for someone learning music. Plus I liked that his voice wasn’t perfect.

Woo – It’s Cosy Inside

I just loved the different textures and movements on this album. I’ve always liked instrumental, ambient music and this album was one of the first I would consider in that new age/ambient realm that really got me. It’s messy and pretty and playful and warm and intimate.

*And just for the hell of it, and because I haven’t become obsessed with a record like this since I was young I wanted to mention it. 

Domenique Dumont – People On Sunday

This record got me through the pandemic. I listened to it almost daily for the couple of years leading up to me recording ‘Parallel Realms’, so I think it had some influence. They recorded this album as a soundtrack to an old 1930s silent German film (People on Sunday). You can find it on YouTube.

Photo Credit: Corinne-Schiavone

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