The Civil Wars better watch out because there’s another indie-folk/Americana duo on the scene. The Local Strangers is comprised of Matt Hart and Aubrey Zoli, two Midwestern transplants living and performing in Seattle. After meeting in September 2010, they realized their musical connection and commonalities and quickly entered the studio to record their debut, self-titled EP.
A four-song EP that combines the sing-along qualities of campfire folk with the attention to instrumental and songwriting details of Americana. Opening with “Hunted by Ghosts”, its Aubrey’s killer voice that captures your attention while Bradley Carter’s banjo accompaniment takes the song to another level. The second track, “For Fear of Losing”, is where we not only hear Carter’s rollicking banjo, but Matt’s charming vocals as well. They also win points for using “saccharine” and “ostentatious” in a song. And, Aubrey’s emotional performance on “All Along” enhances the songs sadness while the uptempo beat and whistle solo makes “Partner in Crime” a fun song to listen to and sing along with.
Since releasing the EP, Aubrey and Matt have built a strong following through touring and playing popular Seattle establishments such as The Tractor Tavern, Columbia City Theater and Doe Bay Fest. Chock-full of great songwriting, pretty vocals, and infectious melodies, this is an EP that will build a strong fanbase. And, I for one, am now a fan of The Local Strangers.
Oh, yeah, and not only am I just a fan of The Local Strangers, I’m also a fan of Matt, who isn’t just a musician but an excellent writer/blogger as well. So, be sure to visit his blog, Mid-by-Northwest.