“Boomer” is the perfect introduction to Strange’s singular mix of styles, and the performance found him effortlessly moving between the verses, which mix hip-hop cadences with indie guitar licks, to a chorus that’s pure arena rock. “You can’t save me, I been buried alive by the devil that’s in them hills,” Strange sings on the bridge, which rumbles with a little heartland blues. “You can’t touch me, I been buried alive by the devil that’s in them hills.”
“Boomer” appears on Strange’s widely acclaimed 2020 debut, Live Forever, which landed at Number 50 on Rolling Stone’s list of the best albums of last year. In an interview, Strange spoke about how the genre-blurring style that defines Live Forever was borne out of years of subtle — and often frowned-upon — experimentation in previous bands.
“When I played in hardcore bands, I remember writing songs and throwing in these R&B sections, or a melodic guitar section, and people would be like, ‘Bro, what are you doing? This is a hardcore band,’” he said. “And I’d be like, ‘You’re right, I’m an idiot, why would that work?’ But those were things that I always felt were natural to the songs. And it’s probably because I was always working on country songs and hardcore songs and pop songs all the time, and listening to that stuff all the time.”
Ahead of his Late Night performance yesterday, Strange joined Lorenzo Wolff on a cover of Judee Sill’s “The Pearl,” which will appear on the latter’s upcoming tribute album, Down Where the Valleys are Low: Another Otherworld for Judee Sill, out March 12th.