Release Date: Feb 14, 2020
Record label: Wharf Cat Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival
Bambara's second release on Wharf Cat Records isn't a radical departure from the first, 2018's Shadow on Everything, but it is most certainly a refinement. Active for over a decade, the Brooklyn-based trio's sound has evolved from shadowy noise rock to a much more focused, direct sort of gothic post-punk, foregrounding Reid Bateh's bitter, brutal lyrics about seedy characters who constantly seem to be one wrong move away from a horrible, unforgiving tragedy. Stray is the band's longest album to date, at 43 minutes, but it actually feels more concise.
Brooklyn-based post-punks Bambara are different in every way. Not only do they blend sounds in unconventional ways, their distinct use of literary narrative mixed with surrealist elements create unique imagery worthy of exploration as well as enjoyment. They're hardly a new project (the band formed in Athens in 2009, this is their fourth studio album), but the way Bambara have chosen to work their sound on 'Stray' feels totally fresh and invigorating.