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The Names \ Stranger Than You [FBN 119 / CD]

Stranger Than You is the fourth studio album by acclaimed Belgian new wave group The Names.

Recorded in 2014, Stranger Than You marks a conscious return to the sounds and styles explored on their debut album Swimming in 1982. "There's a strong element of reconnection," explains singer/songwriter (and bassist) Michel Sordinia. "Yet at the same time it's also about developing your own legitimate strangeness, just as the great Surrealist poet Rene Char invited his readers to do. A new mystery singing in your bones."

Michel and guitarist Marc Deprez are joined by new members Laurent Loddewyckx (drums) and Christophe Boulenger (keyboards and piano). Stand-out tracks include the dynamic title track, Kids On Fire and quickfire Boy With A Gun, as well as more contemplative, elegiac numbers such as Lights and My Angel of Death.

The cover art is an original painting by long term Names associate Benoît Hennebert, celebrated for his work as design director for Les Disques du Crépuscule, with portrait photography by Peter Staessens. The double vinyl edition is housed in a deluxe gatefold sleeve and includes a digital download code.

Tracklist (CD + 2xLP):

1. Stranger Than You
2. Nowherarians
3. Lights
4. Life Again
5. My Angel of Death
6. Kids On Fire
7. What She Knows About the Night
8. Hands Off Love
9. Boy With A Gun
10. Fear
11. Baby You're Scary
12. The Passengers
13. The Days
14. The State I'm In
15. Dare
16. Die Mauer Is No More

Available on CD and double gatefold vinyl. Mailorder copies of the CD are delivered in a special FBN slipcase. Signed Names postcard with each mailorder copy of the CD or vinyl (limited to first 100 copies). To purchase CD or vinyl please select correct shipping option and click on Add To Cart button below the cover image, or else contact FBN by email for other payment methods.

Stranger Than You [FBN 119]
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Reviews:

"Their monochrome appeal remains unscathed, even on the luminous, piano-led My Angel of Death, while Michel Sordinia still snarls his lyrics - most effectively over Nowherarians' cheap snyths - in that occasionally out-of-tune Howard Devoto fashion, the band lurking behind him in a Magazine-like gloom. With an engagingly uyncomfortable Joy Division claustrophobia, this new album will delight old fans, even if its dolent tone does little to encourage Belgian tourism" (Classic Pop, 06/2015)

"The Names have found their fire and inspiration again. Sounding sharp and rich in atmosphere, Stranger Than You offers beautiful keyboards, characteristic vocals, delicious throbbing bass, wave guitars and perfect drums. They sound manly and eager like a pack of young dogs!" (Dark Entries, 06/2015)

"The Names bring their third album proper into view with a stirring title-track that provides solace for those 'feeling the pain, of being out of frame'. Alienation, paranoia, individuality, quirks, self-effacing - familiar topics all. Despite being sixteen songs deep, Stranger Than You is a triumphant double set of reconnections, revisits and re-evaluation. Nowherarians could be a single in another world, while Hands Off Love sports a Hannett-esque snare sound, thus helping it retain an element of Swimming's austere gloom" (Flipside, 05/2015)