As the calling card and sonic tease for the forthcoming How a Stranger is Made album, The Ranger is perfect. And tease is the word for it because The Ranger beguiles the listener with its quirky pop meanderings, dark rootsy vibes, shamanic power, folky grooves, shifting structures and strange semi-mythological narratives. And that might seem like a lot to fit into one track but that really is the tip of the iceberg and as the track grows it shifts gear and puts on sonic weight and the gently chiming pianos and skittering violins are subsumed by banks of orchestral sounds.
And the more I try to unpack and identify the component parts, the more I realise just how clever the song is, how generically subversive, how structurally complex, how disarmingly accessibly its hidden depths are. But what it all comes down to, for all its musical charm, is Luis’ vocals, being both soothing and edgy, and inhabiting an otherworld, a place that seems untethered to our place and time.
Music is a powerful beast, it can be put to many ends and uses but anyone who can build whole new worlds with it, invent whole alternate histories and tangential folklores is definitely someone that you are going to want to keep an eye on.