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by Luke Pettican

Serving as the follow-up to his acclaimed sophomore EP, ‘I Like You’ serves as a bold statement of intent.

The sound of ‘I Like You’ is completely unrecognisable to his 2017 debut single ‘Back Around’, which saw Strange garner attention for his poignant lyricism and affecting vocals. It’s hard to argue that the amount of evolution that Strange has gone through in the last few years is anything short of staggering.  

Strange’s alt-pop tendencies were first highlighted with his 2019 single ‘Sober’, which is lifted from his debut EP entitled ‘Crying At The Party’. Named aptly, the four-track EP saw Strange distill the bewilderingly all-consuming nature of the powerful emotions that come to define adolescence. Through the lens of a house party, jubilant joy, soul-crushing sadness and vibrant elation were examined with grace and resonance. 

With the release of his second EP Something, Hold On this year, Strange showcased his unwavering determination to innovate his sound in an effort to more closely encapsulate the multifaceted emotions that serve as the inspirations of his tracks. On the EP, each track is individually distinct but together unquestionably add up to something much greater than the individual parts. 

‘I Like You’ somehow simultaneously feels like a natural next step and a huge leap forward for the London-based alt-pop artist. Delving into the exuberant rush of emotions that accompany a crush, Strange embodies the resultant internal battle of uncertainty and ecstasy perfectly. As the track draws to a close it explodes with an exhilarating outpouring of emotion, exquisitely capturing the overwhelming and life-affirming delight of falling head over heels for someone. With the track’s recently released official video, Strange manages to capture the song’s sentiment admirably. 

Speaking about the video, Strange shares, “Visuals are becoming ever more important to my project, from the artworks all the way to the imagery I choose to put out at the time of releases. It felt amazing to really embrace the visual side by creating this video. I loved every moment of directing and editing this video.” 

He continues, “I feel that the song has this steady build to a euphoric, screaming at the top of your lungs energy and I really wanted to show that in the video and hope that final sequence truly encapsulates that. I have to give a massive shout out to the director of photography Harry Blackley who really helped with bringing this to life. Oh and to ASOS who very kindly didn’t question the fact that I returned every item of clothing I bought for the video.” 

The video for ‘I Like You’ not only elevates the emotional resonance of the song but serves as a stunning showcase of Strange’s artistry and creative ambition. With the live front of the industry has momentarily subsided, it’s evident Strange is utilising his newly found free time to great effect. If Strange keeps releasing expertly crafted euphoria-tinged bangers like ‘I Like You’, it wouldn’t be surprising if 2021 is his breakthrough year. 

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