CJ Stranger hones a unique sound and spirit for his new album, ‘Hey Stranger.’ Describing first single Strange One as a “stream-of-consciousness ramble of a day living in the inner-west,” CJ carves out contemporary Australian music akin to present day greats like Courtney Barnett, filled with occurrences like electric shocks, technology failing, having a tunnel dug under your house, and tryin’ to pay rent. “After a strong coffee,” he notes, “things feel better.”
Following on from the galloping country of the triple j spun Outlaw and highly satisfying Fool’s Gold, new single and album opener White Lines is yet another brilliant example of how CJ perfectly matches gently simmering music with the raw honesty of reflective coming-of-age lyrics. Channeling an amalgamation of Paul Kelly, Kurt Vile and The Church, White Lines is about new beginnings and unexpected challenges in life, lyrically set against the backdrop of the Australian landscape.
Slinging a small-but-powerful arsenal of instruments, CJ Stranger crafts his distinctive sound using an old weathered resonator, a weird vintage organ, and his beloved purple guitar Frankenstein-ed out of discarded bits and pieces. This array of repurposed musical antiques allows CJ Stranger to sculpt a vivid and honest landscape for his musings.
These days based in the Blue Mountains while regularly Sydney-side, CJ’s 2016 debut album established his prowess as a singer, songwriter and guitar player, but it was a different kind of animal. CJ Stranger is an exaggerated and more nuanced side of Henderson, brought forth by exploring this new artistic persona.
A singer-songwriter through and through, CJ Stranger’s captivating voice, tell-all lyrics and natural feel for finger-picking walk together in perfect synchrony. Creative and honest, ‘Hey Stranger‘ is a rewarding listen that feels comfortingly familiar, yet new and exciting.
Stream/ Purchase ‘Hey Stranger’ HERE
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With thanks to Firestarter Music