When you press play on Seattle, WA’s quartet What Strange Beasts music, you will immediately be transported into a world that is bombastic with glamours synths, stacked harmonies, and some mind-blowing progressive chords. The band has developed a sound that weaves ever so effortlessly in an unique, melodic way that will leave you utterly breathless.
Today What Strange Beasts have dropped “Up In The Air,” which will be showcased in the band’s upcoming debut LP The Maestro’s Tale. The origin story of how the single started to take shape began when the band playing together in the second-floor loft of the barn that drummer/vocalist Jonathan Maxwell converted in a home. “UITA, while not among the first songs written by WSB, was where we started to really gel. Cat brought in the song idea, and the rest of us started to tack on lyrics, arrangement, melodies and variation ideas and before we knew it, we built it into a complete work,” says vocalist Benjamin Ruby. “From there it spring boarded us into this idea of a concept album, and we found it easy to take existing and subsequently written songs and mold them around the anthemic feel of the piece. It’s usually the first track we go to during rehearsals because it just puts us in this creative mood and sets good energy for our sessions.”
Although The Maestro’s Tale is designed to be enjoyed front to back as a continuous landscape, the band came to that decision organically. “The songs formed naturally while we jammed” says Ruby, “but they seemed to slot together with stunning kind of serendipity.” Once they had their epic composition complete, they decamped to Stone Gossard’s Studio Litho and their rarified ears of producer Don Gunn (Peter Frampton, King Crimson). Joining the band for the sessions were cellist Alisa Milner, and horn player David Marriott.
While The Maestro’s Tale paints a majestic portrait, at its core the record is a testament to the universality of life experience. As Maxwell puts it, “the incredible thing about music. A hundred folks might each take something different away from these same songs, but those insights are what connects us. This record is a bit of an adventure, and no matter who listens, I think there are things in there that are going to speak to their journey.”