In the ever-growing realm of bombastic pop music, it’s been exceptionally refreshing in recent years to see what can be described as an indie/folk explosion that’s been going on. Pianos, acoustic guitars, violins and cellos, as well as other organic instrumentation have been making a serious comeback. Artists like Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, The Tallest Man on Earth, and to some extent, The Lonesome Bellow have proven that this folkier side of popular music can work, as have the highly-endearing duo Unintended Strangers.
The Indie/folk duo comprised of Robert Griffin (U.S) and Chloe Danz (New Zealand), who hooked up over the internet by chance in 2017, and are still working closely together on a number of fascinating projects without having ever met in person.
The duo now drop their brand new single, “A Lifetime Ago”, which follows a series of critically acclaimed releases, including their stunning debut single, “Beautiful Disaster”.
The level of intricate and melodious songwriting demonstrated throughout the duo’s works is instantly striking – inviting anyone to connect with it regardless of genre preference. Their songs immediately pique the listener’s interest with crisp and delicate acoustic riffs serving as a backdrop to the pair’s carefully interlaced vocal performances.
The voices of Griffin and Danz manage to capture the eloquent harmony and poignant tension that is often due to the chemistry between lovers. Considering they have never met, makes this a monumental achievement for their sound. “A Lifetime Ago” clearly demonstrates what the pair are able to do vocally – Danz leads, Griffin shadows – in an exquisitely balanced arrangement.
With heavy reliance on vocal ability, melody, and harmony doubling, this track is representative of what makes this duo click so well. It’s a mellifluous and flowing number that allows the simplicity of the lyric and the beauty of the vocal interplay to be front and center.
“A Lifetime Ago” has a dainty air to it, aided by the delicate guitar and string orchestration, as Unintended Strangers create a space full of introspection and nostalgia. It sets a distinctly rural mood yet transcends genre designation, within its indie-folk setting. It’s as unpretentious, yet as impressive as it gets, for an independent singer-songwriter duo.
Unintended Strangers arrived as formidable musicians and singers, only a couple of years ago, but it feels like they’ve been here forever. Full of powerful and emotive imagery, matched by equally stunning performances, Danz and Griffin transport you back in time, causing you to feel the weight of each affecting word they sing on “A Lifetime Ago”.
Unintended Strangers sing and play from somewhere deep in their souls, and it’s hard not to be moved by the heartfelt story told through song. Despite the organic, roots-orientated instrumentation, the duo produce music that can potentially appeal to both dedicated Indie/Folk fans and mainstream chart lovers in equal measure.
The remarkable accomplishment of “A Lifetime Ago”, is that it seemingly fulfills this achievement, with plenty of room to spare, as Unintended Strangers deliver yet another flawless track of rare and beautiful quality. It will pull you back for another listen, each and every time you press play.