Goodbye Stranger are a four piece band from London who refer to their style as
“a unique blend of indie riffs and synthetic dance beats, with swirling synth pads and melodic vocals – somewhere between real and synthetic. We like to brand ourselves as synthetic indie pop”.
It’s a very apt description. We had the pleasure of listening to them at Bloomsbury Lanes on 20 March and we were taken back to what it might have been like seeing New Order play in the early days.
Featuring George McMillan (vocals/synths), Morgan Kilmartin on guitar, Aaron Miller (bass/synths/guitar) and Rob Wheatley on guitar and backing vocals it’s a modern take on 80s pop, and it works quite well.
Opening with “Fall Into the Atlas” (an original song whose name was taken from Sundream by Australian indie dance group RÜFÜS, a major inspiration for Goodbye Stranger), we were led into their debut single, “Miles Away”, which they released on Soundcloud this time last year.
“Miles Away” is beautiful: haunting melodies and gentle vocals, while making good use of the launchpad. It’s a lush combination of indie and dance, and the audience seemed to enjoy it.
This was followed up by a cover of New Order’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart Again”. It was top notch fare, snarling and passionate with the Goodbye Stranger’s own spin on it. They segued into another of their own tracks, “Why Reduce Yourself”: a really classy overlay of guitar onto beats and synth. It’s a nice blend of indie and electronica. Speaking about “Why Reduce Yourself”, the band said:
“We were messing around with a sample pad and an old song and something just clicked and we managed to get it written and finished within 20 minutes. We have loved playing it, ever since.”
The next song which struck me was Goodbye Stranger’s take on Drake’s, “Hold On We’re Going Home”. Imagine New Order singing it and you come close to what it sounded like. Having heard a few different cover versions of this song, I quite enjoyed it for being something completely different, and not trying too hard to totally replicate the original.
I was very impressed by “Cave”. The band’s first single, it was released in December last year and was met with a great response including lots of blog and radio coverage, including BBC London as part of their BBC Introducing programme. It’s a great dance song, yet at the same time manages to combine this with dark and dramatic lyrics. It’s polished and strong, and a big hit with the audience.
Here’s “Cave”. Let us know what you think!