Gold Spectacles Encourages Us to Embrace Our Otherness as an Act of Resistance on “Stranger Than You”

Gold Spectacles, photo courtesy the artists

Gold Spectacles sound like the duo listened to a bit of Anne Dudley’s work in Art of Noise and her subsequent soundtrack work in crafting the music for the single “Stranger Than You.” Unconventional percussion like the sound of bottles struck, the sound of a small bell being struck and clicks of sticks on the rim of the drum as well as minimal drum kit rhythms give the song some of its atmospheric quality like some kind of clockwork narrative. The sound sounds like an experimental, downtempo jazz pop that settles into a nice groove but doesn’t get stuck in a creative rut with a soundscape that’s constantly, if subtly, evolving. Flutes and ethereal vocal choruses serve as a counterpoint to the lead vocal line which is playful yet pointed analysis of a relationship that could but won’t because of a basic disconnect of personality and temperament. The narrator anticipates daily conflict in the relationship in which she’ll be baited into a fight but won’t give the man the satisfaction because it’s all part of a meta narrative of gender roles. One of the lyrics speaks directly to this issue with “I never really understand the need to be an alpha man.” As if such a display of ego, bravado and physical dominance hides all the insecurity. As if to suggest existing outside of that mode of being the chorus of the song is “Maybe I’m a little bit stranger than you, darling.” Strange because of not adhering to values of being and identity that limit one to such regressive cognitive orientations that are, in fact all too common. “Strangeness” and being the other in the case of this song is an act of resistance to a culture of self-oppression reinforced by internalizing a harmful identity politics that anyone can step away from by simply questioning one’s assumptions of the “normal.” The song is the eleventh in the band’s “full moon” series culminating in the release of a full album release on November 15, 2019. Listen to “Stranger Than You” on Soundcloud and follow Gold Spectacles at the links below.

Author: simianthinker

Editor, primary content provider for this blog. Former contributor to Westword and The Onion.

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