Few works of art have had more random beginnings than the latest record from STRFKR.
Six years ago, the band’s principal songwriter Josh Hodges was visiting The Netherlands and working on new material for the weirdo Oregon-based electropop outfit that’s garnered a cult following from its jam-filled catalog and party-like live shows. While in Amsterdam, a friend of a friend passed along the contact info of two local musicians who he thought Hodges might get along with.
Listen to our interview with STRFKR’s Josh Hodges:
Although it was a tenuous connection at best, Hodges reached out to the two Dutchmen, Mathias Janmat and David Hoogerheide. It was a fateful decision that resulted in a quick burst of creative output. To Hodges’ complete surprise, within hours they began a series of songwriting sessions that would result in some of the finest work of his life. He returned to the United States with six mostly finished songs and an album’s worth of ideas that he hoped to expand upon with his new collaborators in the following months.
However, Hodges soon found out that long distance relationships are hard.
“Life happened,” he explained to opbmusic, as both groups of musicians got sidetracked by other projects and the years passed by. But Hodges couldn’t let go of the unfinished songs.
With Janmat and Hoogerheide’s blessing (and help), Hodges and his STRFKR bandmates Shawn Glassford and Keil Corcoran eventually finished the original songs from the Amsterdam sessions and released them as part of the group’s sixth full-length studio album, “Future Past Life,” earlier this year. With it’s catchy hooks, wandering synths, and whispered lyrics, it’s unmistakably a STRFKR record. But as Hodges told opbmusic, the Dutch songwriting duo’s fingerprints are all over the album as evidenced by the band’s newfound emphasis on acoustic guitar and lo-fi drums.
You can watch Josh Hodges perform songs from “Future Past Life” recorded live in his basement studio in Portland and listen to our interview above where he traces the unusual origins of the album, talks about pop music’s place in these heavy times, and shares his thoughts on music as meditation.