• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Familiar Strangers

The Local Strangers

For a band that makes some pretty weighty material, Aubrey Zoli and Matt Hart — the two lead parts of the Americana rock band The Local Strangers — sure do have a good sense of humor.

“It’s all about space aliens,” Hart says, laughing when asked if their latest release, 2012’s Left for Better, is more autobiographical or fictitious in nature. Zoli takes a slightly different tack when answering this question.

“There are definitely a few songs here and there that we don’t really know what they’re about,” Zoli says with a laugh.

When they do know where the songs are going, the results are pretty intriguing. Zoli’s powerhouse vocals guide the handclap-happy stomp-rock of “Mr. Blackberry,” while the riff-heavy Americana rock of “Devil and a Stiff Drink” is defiant in its declaration of wanton freedom. The rumbling rocker “Beneath the Weight” shines for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that Zoli and Hart wrote it together.

“I had no idea what it was about when I was writing it,” Zoli confesses. “I’d wanted to name a song ‘Beneath the Weight’ and have it be about bearing other people’s burdens, so when Matt wrote the first few lines, I started tweaking things a bit and off it went. That song was definitely a collaborative effort.”

As long as they are writing songs people can relate to, the band is happy.

“We don’t just want to write songs for ourselves,” Hart says. “For us it’s about playing for other people and having the songs affect them. That’s where the joy comes from.” 

The Local Strangers play 8:30 pm Friday, June 28, Axe and Fiddle; $5.