Intimate Stranger
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Intimate Stranger


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"Intimate Stranger Talks New Album and US Tour"

Spin Earth witnessed their performance in Santiago, Chile last August 13th.

Tessie rolls and plays so intense, so sensual and elegant, showing off her voice all over the SCD Bellavista stage (Author Rights Society), a place for all types of musicians to perform on an almost daily basis. Lautaro Vera rips his guitar with a "noise/shoegazer" mix that gives us a British club ambiance. Mogles bangs his drums and doesn’t give a break to Ismael’s keyboard, which sets the mood for Tessie's bass. They all carry the show to a high level presentation.

They showed some of their first album "Life Jacket", and a sample of they second one, which is almost at the top of the most prominent music sites online with songs like Eva, Under, For Annie, Back In The Box. -

"Intimate Stranger - Under"

The second full-length release from Chile's Intimate Stranger. Under is an instantly likable collection of danceable modern pop/rock tunes with a difference. This band's overall sound is something like Bjork mixed with The Pretenders with a light touch of Martha and the Muffins added for good measure (?!). The melodies are contagious...and vocalist Tessie Spoljaric-Woodgate has an incredible voice that just oozes with genuine sincerity. The more we spin this album the better these songs sound. Cool credible modern pop tracks include "Moments," "Nighttime," "Held,""Shiny Tears," and "Gone and Buried." Top pick.

"Live Music: Intimate Stranger"

Austin, TX - Chilean band Intimate Stranger recorded its first album, Life Jacket, in 2006. The album blends alternative rock with pop melodies that recall the song structures of indie rockers from the late 80s.

Life Jacket is a collection of stories personifying the disconcerting life experiences and deaths of its haunting characters.

The band spent two years in London playing at all the underground live-music venues, including Rock Garden, The Dublin Castel, and Bull and Gate.

While in the UK they played a number of festivals and packed the major venue at LadyFest Festival in Cambridge.

In mid-2008 the band returned to Chile and built-up a large fan base. They've been touring the country building up a strong following in other cities.

The band was selected for an interview in the January 2009 edition of Rolling Stone Chile, which included a half-page photo on the inside front cover. - myfoxaustin

"Intimate Stranger Interview: SXSW 2010"

Chile-based band, Intimate Stranger blend guitar, drums and keyboards alongside catchy melodies that are sure to please any festival-goer. The band have critics raving, as frontwoman Tessie S-Woodgate was named one of the "Leading Ladies of Rock" last year by Rolling Stone Chile. Gearing up for SXSW and an album release in March, Tessie filled Spinner in on the band's songwriting process as well as performing internationally. "SXSW is really important to us since it's the chance to play to a bunch of new people who haven't seen us live, in a place where we are relatively unknown. It's new terrain for us, so the prospects are very exciting."

How did Intimate Stranger form?

The band formed in Santiago, Chile, in 2005 between me, Lautaro and Mauricio. At the time, Lautaro and Mauricio had another band called Don Fango, which they dissolved to start Intimate Stranger.

Describe your sound in your own words.

Organic and atmospheric guitar effects blended with organ and synth melodies and solid drum rhythms [to] create a deep blanket for melodic and engaging female vocals. It has elements of melancholy and a calm motivated energy.

What are your musical influences?

We have different musical influences as well as a lot that cross-over. We all listen to a variety of different styles. I grew up listening to indie and alternative in the late 80s and early 90s and then listened to predominantly electronic music for a long while. When I met up with Lautaro he introduced me to guitar-based bands. We all listened to My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Johnny Cash, Pixies, Ramones when we were growing up and then branched out. Now we listen to a lot of different and more varied stuff – from indietronic to instrumental.

How did you come up with your band name?

The band name was originally the name of one of our songs which is now called 'All Things Pretty' and is actually on the new album that comes out in March. It's a song that we always had and never recorded before. At the time, the band was called Gato Gordo and we wanted to change the name to an English name. 'Intimate Stranger,' the song, was about a woman who sees a man somewhere and feels an instant connection and desire to be with him. She feels that she has found her soul mate without even talking to or knowing anything about him.

What's in your festival survival kit?


Who was your first celeb crush?

Johnny Depp. I've always had a thing for him.

What's your musical guilty pleasure?

No guilty pleasures. If I like it, it can't be that bad can it? Lautaro sometimes listens to things we both think are really bad, it seems like a kind of torture or something.

What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced on tour?

One time when touring around Chile, Lautaro was almost taken away by a group of gypsies at a highway gas station. We pulled him in to the moving van on our way out – they were surrounding him and had somehow tricked him in to giving them money. Then we zoomed off to a town down south and arrived for the town's morning breakfast show studio to be interviewed by this dodgy bald guy in a funny suit who obviously didn't know anything about music, couldn't pronounce the band name and kept telling the camera guy to zoom in on my eyes. It was pretty surreal.

What's your songwriting process like? Do you carry a notebook wherever you go?

I'm actually an overly organized person and need to carry a few things around with me all the time, one of them being an exercise book. I write the lyrics for our songs and usually have material in the form of poems or random ideas that I often then adapt to a song. In terms of the music, Lautaro and I get together and work with melodies and ideas he composes. He'll play guitar and I'll put vocals and/or keyboards, and we'll play around and polish it.

The lyrics on the new album are very different to the first album. The first album was about imaginary characters and the events that happened in their lives. Like seeing random people you don't know and imagining absurd things that could be going on. This new album is personal, it's about my experiences. It reflects an ongoing process of conflict, realization and change. Sometimes it feels a bit strange when I think that all these things are in our songs. Though often I tend to not say them directly – and more in metaphors. For example, in 'Under,' there seem to be two people talking [but] its actually two sides of one person.

What are you thinking about while performing?

You enjoy the music and focus on what you're playing or singing. When you are well practiced you don't need to think about anything else really.

Would you rather someone witness you live first or hear your CD?

I think hear the CD first because that way they can hear the songs and when they see us live they will recognize them and can enjoy them more and the show as a whole.

I wanted to ask about the story behind 'For Annie.' Does a song come out better when it's based on a real person or experience?

'For Annie' is a poem by Edgar Allan Poe. Annie was a married friend of Poe's – it seems they had a complicated relationship. The poem is about how Annie helped him recover from a bad sickness. I have always liked his poems and wanted to use a part of this one as a song. I don't think a song necessarily comes out better when it's based on a real person or experience, it depends more about how you feel about what you're creating and whether it is well-written.

"Intimate Stranger / Under (Fringecore Records)"

Intimate Stranger logra toda la atención en los primeros segundos de Under, su segundo álbum. Las naturales y apasionantes entonaciones de su inglesa-croata Tessie, a cargo del bajo y la voz, nos llevan a un viaje por delicados, aunque -a la vez- energéticos sonidos indie rock, que bien podrían sonar noventeros, pero los riff con tintes garage de Lautaro Vera nos regresan a nuestros días. El disco se desarrolla en 10 historias de extraños amores. El grupo tiene claro su horizonte: sonar profesionales, ya sea en estudio como en vivo. Así lo dejaron en claro con su gira promocional recientemente en el sur de Estados Unidos, en el South by Southwest Festival. En esta nueva placa brillan la entusiasta ‘Note To Self’, la implacable ‘Beastie Queen’ y la ecléctica ‘All Things Pretty’. Intensamente elegantes. Do You Understand Me? -

"First person account of Chile earthquake by SXSW-bound musician"

Tessie Spoljaric-Woodgate of the Austin-managed Chilean band Intimate Stranger tells us about surviving the 8.8 earthquake that ravaged her adoptive home country Saturday. The first-ever showcase of Chilean bands takes place at Maggie Mae’s on Saturday March 20. Three of the bands will also play a benefit for earthquake relief efforts March 23 at the Parish.

“Every once in a while you get tremors in Chile, where the floor just shakes a little bit. And every ten years or so you get an earthquake.

So on Saturday morning at 3am when we were in bed and I felt the bed move I just nudged Lautaro (my husband/Intimate Stranger’s guitarist). Then I realised it was completely dark (we usually keep on a small light for Leonor - our daughter) and that the house was shaking hard. We both got out of bed, Lautaro took Leonor out of her cot and went towards the bathroom - the strongest part of our house.

I remember I got sort of stuck in the bedroom walking around in circles because I was completely shocked at how the floor was moving up and down, side to side. How I later imagined being in a tempest on a ship would be like. I had been in a deep sleep, I didn’t react logically, it was surreal. It seems people respond differently to
earthquakes, some people loose control and totally panic, I just remember feeling confused. I got to the bathroom door and the three of us stood under the door frame and held on to each other tight and waited for it to stop. There was so much noise - glasses smashing, the foundations of the house creaking so loud and a deep sound - I kept thinking the roof was going to fall down or that giant rocks were going to come tumbling down from the mountains. I felt so small. I was surprised Leonor wasn’t crying - she has good hearing but loud sounds don’t seem to bother her. It lasted a long time - 3 minutes thinking it was going on too long.

When it finally stopped we stood there for quite a while taking in what had happened and then we went back in the room and I went to find some candles. I could only find birthday cake candles. While I was in the kitchen I noticed the sky was misty - smoky and bright from the full moon. We found out later that a chemical factory exploded and the fumes had covered the city. We live on the outskirts of town, just
under the Andes, so it felt suddenly quiet around the house, but I could hear down below was full of sound - cars and sirens - people leaving their houses, bars and night clubs. We found out later that Mogles (our drummer) had been in Loreto (a club we often play in) at the time and afterwards the club goers poured in to the streets of
Bellavista - walking around rubble enmasse to their homes.

We stayed in bed, didn’t sleep much as there were a lot of aftershocks. I even felt one earlier this afternoon, 3 days later. A few hours after the earthquake we were dozing when I heard someone banging at the door in a frenzy - it was Lautaro’s brother. He had been an hour away at the beach with his grandmother in her 11th floor seaside apartment, which had completely split in half. She told me that she could see all the way down through the middle of her apartment to the bottom of the building. She didn’t seem fazed. She told me how they had escaped and that she had lived 2 earthquakes here before. We sat in the kitchen listening to the radio.

I didn’t realise how badly effected other areas were until we got our electricity and phone lines back on Saturday night. It’s different when you see it all live on the news. And everyday there are new places, new missing persons.

I was so glad when I finally got to speak to my parents. I was worried because Ihadn’t been able to contact my family and let them know that we were OK.

We are fortunate nothing happened to our family. Ok we still don’t have water and bathing by the swimming pool makes this place feel like a campsite, but a lot has happened to a lot of other people. After hours of watching images of devastation on the south coast, hearing survival stories of friends, empathising with those who have lost their homes and those who still haven’t heard from their families - the after feeling of the last few days is sad and tired. One of the worst cases closest to us is Pape - singer and bassist for The Ganjas who lost his home, his family home and his business. Here’s hoping his time at SXSW will give him new energy.

There are stories everywhere. Mogles told me today about his friend that just managed to escape the tsunami by zooming up a hill on a bike, and another guy who got swept by the tsunami nearly a mile from his home and survived! Not to mention the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Conception (the eye of the earthquake) where the army is now the authority and the media constantly talks of “collective psychosis”. How people react after catastrophe - with their homes destroyed, no food, no communications, nowhere to buy essentials… Chaos. Taking over the supermarkets, fires, organising themselves in to groups in fear that the little they have left will be taken away, arming themselves against “bad” people who are taking advantage of the situation…

The new government has a lot of work ahead of them and those who have lost everything will need the help they deserve.

Despite everything and the general mood here - we (Intimate Stranger) and the other bands are really eager to play at SXSW and go on tour. We are looking forward to some exciting gigs - including the show at the Parish in Austin, where all three bands will play as a benefit for the people of Chile in conjunction with Caritas.” -


Life Jacket album 2007

Under album 2010

Sleeping in motion 2012



*The Anglo-Chilean band released its third studio album, White Streets Dark Fields in June 2012. It was recorded in Santiago, Chile by Paul Giadach in Algorecords Studio B and mastered by John Golden at Golden Mastering in Ventura CA, who have worked on Of Montreal, Galexico, Sonic Youth, Spoon, among others.

In 2011 the band’s singles “Under” and “Moments” from their second album “Under” (Fringecore Records 2010) remained at the top 10 of independent radio stations in the US for several months and are played regularly on Chile’s major radio stations.

Released in the Fall of 2010, Under garnered immediate recognition and considerable praise from all corners. The album was voted amongst the top national albums of 2010 by 6 of Chile’s major music critics. Their sound was described by Tom Robinson’s BBC 6 Radio as being “gritty and dirty and calm and ethereal at the same time, with beautiful vocals – a difficult balancing act”.

Fans and press alike have picked up on the band’s live shows, with The Austin Chronicle voting Intimate Stranger in its Top 10 of definite bands to watch live in 2011.

The band undertook their second 6-month national US tour in 2011 playing top venues from Austin to San Francisco, New Orleans, and Philadelphia to NYC, including shows at the Knitting Factory (NY) and The Parish and SXSW Waterloo Showcase (Austin).

In the Fall of 2011, Intimate Stranger returned to Latin America, where the band was invited to headline the Circus Rock Festival and take center stage at Primavera Fauna Festival, followed by a support slot for Interpol.

Intimate Stranger was formed in 2007 by Chilean guitarist Lau Stranger and English/Croatian singer Tessie Stranger, initially commuting between Chile and London, where their first album “Life jacket” was released in 2008.

Intimate Stranger’s current formation is; Tessie Stranger (vocals/guitar/keyboards) Lau Stranger (guitar) Mogles (drums) Phillip Crisis (bass).*

El guitarrista chileno Lautaro Vera y la cantante inglesa-croata Tessie Spoljaric-Woodgate formaron Intimate Stranger el 2007, originalmente como un dúo. Editan su primer disco “Life Jacket” el 2008 en Londres bajo el sello Fringecore Records. El 2010 giraron por 3 meses en Estados Unidos, presentándose en el Festival SXSW en Austin, Texas. Al terminar la gira, regresan a Chile y graban su segundo disco “Under”, que genera reconocimiento de todos los sectores y muy buenas críticas de la prensa, el disco incluye los singles “Under” y “Moments”, que tienen gran rotación radial durante el año siguiente. Su nuevo disco “White Streets, Dark Fields” se edita en Chile en junio del 2012, y es acompañado de un videoclip del single “Sleeping in Motion” y una gira por Sudamérica, México y EEUU. La formación actual también incluye al baterista Mogles y al bajista Phillip Crissis.