Two people could not be Stranger Friends, but that is an easy play on words about a country outfit that isn’t so easy to otherwise take in without a few words about them first. Jamie Floyd comes from West Palm Beach, Florida, and John Martin is from Oklahoma.
They’ve been together for seven years combining their talents and recently recorded a movie soundtrack. A Burt Reynolds movie at that. Together they make an all-out fantastic duo with a self-titled five-track EP. It’s full of world class songs that will help push the movie soundtrack once it’s out in 2018. It’s worth hearing beforehand to get used to them.
The EP kicks off in big country music fashion with “Country Song” for the opening salvo. The vocals by both singers are shared equally on this song, so you get just as much of one as the other to start with. It’s probably the most energetic track on the EP as well, so it leads off with a bang to get full attention. They even use a little background audience participation to kick it up a notch. But if you get into this you won’t be able to dismiss the rest, and that’s the mark of any truly good opener.
They waste no time getting the show on the road by selecting just the right track to do it.
“Sacred Garden” is not as rocking, but that’s not a bad thing because the song is just as good only with a softer side. It’s a semi-acoustic track with some great pedal steel guitar over it. This makes for an outdoorsy feel in the mid-section that makes the song. But the vocals don’t disgrace either, it’s just so musically captivating if you can wrap your head around it without it just passing by the ears. This is easily a single if you were to ask my pick, because it has the most quality put into it and the textures stand out over and above anything to be found on offer. It might even be superior to everything on the EP.
But then there is this haunting track “I Ain’t Dead” to contend with, and the two somehow manage to mark a peaking point on the disc. I like how this track feels with the cover concept in black and white. It has a very western vibe to it and the black and white concept goes perfectly with it. I’m actually-most enthralled with this song because it has a lot of drama, and it shows how good they might be sounding on the forthcoming movie soundtrack. They build up to a bridge before breaking out in a cadenza and it all just works very well with an acoustic backdrop. It’s really a stunning track.
“November & June” is another nice tune with some great lyrics, and it’s all very uplifting at this point, after such a dark and suspenseful track in the former. It’s important to remind people where you might be if you didn’t have them around, and that’s what this song is all about.
Both-of these musicians are perfect for one another by now, and it all comes out on this fine EP that closes with the magnificent “Don’t Get Back Up” which brings the release full-circle with five compelling, superb pieces of high standard quality music. Feel their pain, sorrow and overall joy, because it’s all over this EP.