Magnetic Strangers, the debut LP from Vancouver’s Blonde Diamond , opens with the snap of a snare drum before organ, tremolo-bitten guitar, and a mission bell clang in chorus like three gunslingers, backlit by a blood orange sunset, silhouetted on some dusty 1800s high street. It’s a playful nod at the top of opener “Man With No Name”: vocalist and band leader Alexis Young is a student of Ennio Morricone and the soapy, soaring drama of Spaghetti Western soundtracks. Magnetic Strangers is a probe of desire and relationship not just between two individuals, but within oneself, too. “The Man With No Name” exists out there, but he also exists in here, in the very chemical, molecular bits of ourselves that we negotiate with each day.
“It’s a narrative about the laws of attraction, whether that be to a stranger, to a person, to a feeling, to a place,” says Young. The record’s menagerie of operatic, late-night indie rock and roll, dive-bar R&B, charred disco, and wide-eyed electro pop play host to a warring between choice, agency, reason, and compulsion. Magnetic Strangers’ ten tracks present a psychedelic, boundary-tensing work: that rare record which poses as many questions in its lyrics as it does in its compositions. If you’re brave enough to search for answers to them, Blonde Diamond invites you to saddle up.
Magnetic Strangers arrives September 23rd, 2022.