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APES : Stranger Than Strangers

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APES’ eagerly awaited debut album, Stranger Than Strangers, is everything the band’s previously released tracks promised and then some. The album is soaked in laidback grooves and offers complex soundscapes that wash over you, and gently tug you into their orbit. Between Benjamin Dowd’s delicate vocals and APES’ composition of layered electric beats, it’s the kind of album that you could listen to on repeat as you explore the multifaceted nature of each song.  
 
Tomb is an upbeat track that envelops your ears with rich, textural melodies and honey vocals. It’s followed by Fourth Point offering licks of soft guitar before introducing a drum heavy chorus, softened by cooing vocals. Tired Face produces buzzing guitar reverbs, intricate percussive rhythms and a harmonised chorus.
 
Possibly the highlight of the album, Better, is a cathartic piece of music through and through. Dowd’s vocals feel as though he is whispering directly into your ears, while floaty melodies weave between moments of tranquillity and instrumental boldness. The album ties off beautifully with It Is What It Is; seven minutes of whistling, clicks, oohs and ahhs and an upbeat, jangly rhythm that’s so beautiful you’ll instantly hit repeat.
 
By Kate Streader