The Living Strange
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The Living Strange

Brooklyn, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2019

Brooklyn, NY
Established on Jan, 2019
Band Alternative Rock




"New Pet Video Premiere"

New Noise Magazine is pleased to be bringing forth the ambient rock track “New Pet” by The Living Strange. There’s a lot of surging energy that kicks off after the soft open, led by the quick paced stream of conscious vocals. The music video is incredibly art driven, finding different textures and palettes to give the track a beautiful aesthetic. Watch it below and be prepared for the record, Gunk - New Noise Magazine

"GUNK album review"

Sometimes love hits you straight in the face; you can be living your life, doing your thing, when you meet someone and suddenly find yourself head over heels, paralytically, stupidly and completely in love. Most of the time it doesn’t happen like that though, you carry on living your life, doing your thing, getting to know someone, then one day you realise that actually, this thing that’s been going on, is much more than a thing, this is love. It happens slowly, but then in an instant.

I’ve been listening to this record for a while now, looking for the words to write, but none were forthcoming. For quite some time, I was thinking that my review was going to say something cynical, along the lines that ‘Gunk’ is easy to admire, but difficult to love. Then, this evening (alcohol may have been consumed) I came to the dawning realisation that I needed to confront my feelings, and to admit, confess, and shout to the stars that I love it.

Brooklyn’s The Living Strange have produced a bit of an Alt-Rock gem, it’s perhaps a grower, but when you give it time, it’s really pretty amazing. The album opens with the chimerical ‘New Pet’ which feels, as the lyric would have it, “just like a dream” with a synth and vocal section at the start which put me in mind of some dystopian fairground. ‘Stumble’ is perhaps my favourite track on the album, it opens with a great fuzzy guitar riff, breaking down to a simple yet effective bass and drum accompaniment to the verse, before the guitar kicks in for a chorus with a soaring vocal melody which Muse’s Matt Bellamy would wish he had written. ‘Mannequin’ is another highlight, with a frankly mental proggy sounding guitar riff moving up and down pentatonic scales (I think, my music theory is a little rusty), it sounds questionable, but as with so much on this record it is infectiously intriguing.

There’s so much content on this album, depth upon depth of sound, and it’s a really mature sounding collection of songs for such a new band. We’ve seen the progression of Arctic Monkeys from a band who started singing about teenage dalliances with alcopops, to one who have developed their artistic talents, and whose music is much more interesting now (albeit perhaps a little less energetic). But The Living Strange have started on the top floor, they’re already producing amazingly interesting (and energetic) music, which leaves me wanting more.

In short? If you want a quick hit, before you move onto the next one, then this might not be for you. If you’re prepared to put the time in, and really savour your experience, then this could be The One. - 3 Songs and Out


Eli Sokolow of The Living Strange took some time to chat with us about the band’s new release, GUNK. Check out the full interview below.

You had your album release show in NYC recently. How did that go?

It was awesome. Whenever we get to play gigs with our friends, it’s a great feeling. At that show, we had a longer set than usual and we played the whole record in order, as well as some other tracks.

When you were working on the album, what was the writing process like?

Many of these songs were written over the process of a few years. This album was almost like an older version of me directing a younger version of me. The skeletal parts of the songs were mainly written in 2014/2015 when we started as a band. Over the years of touring and growing, we revised the songs until they became what they are now.

What influenced you the most when you were working on the new music?

I was most influenced by everything that I don’t like in music. That usually gives me the best idea of what I do like. In alternative rock, a lot of bands now have been downplaying the “rock” aspects of their sound. I wanted to do the opposite of that on GUNK.

What is it like touring with more people than you record with when you’re in the studio?

Our current lineup has made the band more fun than I thought it could ever be. Everyone is really talented in different areas of music and to come together and create the music in realtime is my favorite thing.

Now that the album is out and you’ve done the release show, what are your plans for the remainder of 2018?

We have more touring coming up throughout the year. We’ll be throwing a festival in NYC called Strangefest. Also, there’s two more releases we are recording.

Do you have any interesting hobbies outside of the band?

What is this “outside of the band” concept? I’ve never heard of it.

What’s your favorite venue to play in New York?

My favorite venue to play in New York is Zone One at Elsewhere. It’s real close to where we live and it’s a good space for our style.

What venue would you love to play, but haven’t had the chance to yet?

I’d love to play at the Hollywood Bowl with the house orchestra. It’d be like Metallica’s orchestra album except less “yeaaahs” after every word and more the living strange.

Thank you for your time! Where can our readers keep up with The Living Strange?

All info is at - HiFi Noise


The Living Strange was founded by Elijah Sokolow whose music combines the guitar-driven hard rock of artists like Queens of the Stone Age and Rage Against the Machine with the electronic-indie atmosphere of artists like Tame Impala and St Vincent. Sokolow is the sole songwriter of the project and the studio recordings compromise of him overdubbing all instruments other than drums, which are played by Ben Shafrir. As a touring act, the band consists of Sokolow (vocals, guitar), Ben Shafrir (drums), Miles Blue Spruce (bass), and Nico Sleator (Synthesizer).

Review Fix: How did the band get together?

Elijah Sokolow: I met Ben in a music program for kids where they put you in bands and you play classic rock songs. Miles came to all of our shows and it only made sense for him to join because we figured he was always free when we had shows. Nico was late to his audition that our ex-bassist got him once we decided we wanted a keyboard player but he made up for it by becoming our keyboard player.

Review Fix: How did you get involved in music?

Sokolow: I started playing guitar when I was five. I heard a lot of different music growing up and I was really inspired by the feeling I got listening to loud rock music. Once I started playing electric guitar, I was hooked. I still haven’t found something in the world that I like more than playing that instrument.

Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?

Sokolow: I usually have a continuous stream of musical ideas and lyrical ideas and whenever I want to write a song, I just put some of them together. It’s not like the whole song usually comes from the same moment. It’s usually phrases and passages that are from different points in my life.

Review Fix: What inspires you?

Sokolow: This sounds like a joke but I’m inspired by how strange life can be. It’s gotten me in all kinds of places feeling all kinds of ways and that motivates me to create music. That said, I think songwriting is more of a methodical process than a spur of the moment inspiration kind of thing. It’s not that there are good or bad ideas, it’s just that there are good and bad ways of presenting them.

Review Fix: Why is “Wax Museum” a special track?

Sokolow: This song is special because I wrote it about a really personal matter – in terms of dealing with the pain of watching a loved one hurt themselves. Musically it’s pretty fun because the chorus has got this harsh sound that I saved as “BALLS” in pro tools. It’s essentially a fake fender rhodes with literally every fuzz that comes with Logic (the daw, not the rapper).

Review Fix: Who do you think will enjoy this album the most? Why?

Sokolow: I think rock fans who want something new and guitarists will enjoy this album the most. As an avid rock music listener, it’s been a bummer to see so many awesome bands lose energy as they mature. This album is for younger rock fans who don’t want to just listen to the classics.

Review Fix: What’s special about the Brooklyn music scene?

Sokolow: Brooklyn (and NYC in general) has an awesome music scene because there are so many unique bands and venues. There’s more or less a spot for each style. This is where I tell you to listen to all these awesome bands like A Deer A Horse, Warpark, Bailey the Nudibranch, and the Black Market Merchants.

Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?

Sokolow: We sound like if Thom Yorke ran a midi pickup underneath his right nostril while watching Alex Turner shave his head to Rage Against the Machine.

Review Fix: How are your live shows different from your studio work?

Sokolow: Our live shows are very spontaneous in that we don’t use setlists and we usually end up in different parts of the venue with various injuries. Our studio work is more deliberate in what it’s trying to say. We make sure that each recording decision enforces the main themes behind the songs.

Review Fix: What are your goals for the rest of 2018?

Sokolow: We plan on throwing a festival in NYC so my goal is for that to be a good time for all involved. We will continue to tour regionally throughout the east coast as well.

Review Fix: What’s next?

Sokolow: This year, we have two more releases that are both concept album type things. One is a folk album about a fictional character and the other is a punk album about advertisements. You should buy both right when they come out. It’s the deal of a lifetime, really. - Review Fix Exclusive

"Gunk review"

The Living Strange, Gunk
Strange Recordings

Wow, The Living Strange’s music does to alternative rock what Monty Python did to British comedy. The band’s surrealist spin showcases the irony of life, and the Brooklyn outfit shamelessly criticise today’s society and the undeniable randomness of events that underpin it.

As an album, Gunk is hypnotic. It draws you in, song after song, and makes sure you never want out. It fuses influences like Arctic Monkeys and Queens Of The Stone Age, and Elijah Sokolow’s vocals cradle you in a way that simultaneously feel confining and comforting.

New Pet is a good opening track. It perfectly embodies the fuzziness that runs throughout this record and reminds you what it feels like to watch the world around you from a place that stops you from actually getting to it. Songs like Stumble and Losing It, too, create the same sensation. The slurred vocals emphasise a feeling of insecurity.

Meanwhile, What It Seems, Position and Skyline make you dizzy and awaken your inner conspiracy theorist. The stars of the show, however, are Mannequin and Wax Museum. These songs are eerie, like flashing lights from an episode of Black Mirror. Like we said, the effects are pretty intoxicating. - The Sound of Pen


Still working on that hot first release.



The Living Strange is an alternative rock band based in Brooklyn, NY consisting of Elijah Sokolow (vocals, guitar), Nico Sleator (keys), Ben Shafrir (drums), and Miles Blue Spruce (bass). They have released three albums, one of which charted at #170 on the NACC 200. The Living Strange's music combines guitar driven rock influences like RATM with more electronic indie influences like St Vincent. 

Band Members