World Premiere: Strange Pilgrim and Staring at the Sky: psychedelics and warm summer evenings

by | Music, Premiere

indieRepublik is proud to present the world premiere of the brand new single Staring at the Sky from Strange Pilgrim, about summer evenings and psychedelics: just sitting back and marveling at the world and taking a break from the present prevailing insanities.

After releasing the single and Music Video for “Salt and Seagulls” on March 6, 2020, Strange Pilgrim are back with “Staring At The Sky”, a song about spending time with close friends on a warm summer evening in a shared psychedelic experience. The single is being premiered today, June 22, but will be officially released on all digital platforms on June 24, 2020.

Drawing on themes of dislocation and dreamlike imagery, Strange Pilgrim is an exploration of living in an increasingly unfamiliar world. Much of their lyrical content focuses on the social and political uncertainty of these times, on connecting with nature, and on yearning for some form of freedom. Their harmony-drenched, psych-pop sound is centered on the experience of venturing toward some unknown horizon, for better or for worse.

Dislocation and dreamlike imagery

Strange Pilgrim is Joshua Barnhart’s new Oakland band. Joshua first became known as the drummer of the acclaimed Bay Area band Port O’Brien on the album All We Could Do Was Sing. For three years, he toured Europe, North America, and Australia with them. Since then, he has played drums, guitar, and sang with bands including Release the Sunbird, Two Sheds, Kelly McFarling, Vetiver, Sparrows Gate, and Zeb Zaitz. Strange Pilgrim began as a side-project duo under Joshua’s name, featuring guitarist Paul Dutton. In 2016, they recorded and released their first album, Turn Out The Light, featuring fellow Port O’Brien member, Caleb Nichols, on bass. Over the next two years, the band added drums, bass, and an additional lead guitar.


The band name Strange Pilgrim references Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s work Strange Pilgrims

They released two singles, “Dance with Me” and “Blue Eyes,” and eventually, a solid lineup formed with Adam Nash (of Goodnight Texas), Pat Spurgeon (of Rogue Wave), Sterling Schlegel, Paul Dutton, and Taylor Belmore. On March 6, 2020, the band released the single “Salt and Seagulls” featuring Bay Area musician Kelly McKarfing on vocals.

The band name Strange Pilgrim references Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s work Strange Pilgrims or Doce Cuentos Peregrinos, a book that shares the themes of wandering out of place. The new single Staring at the Sky is about spending time with close friends on a warm summer evening in a shared psychedelic experience.

“Thinking about this song now, it seems like a love letter to an era which none of us were able to say goodbye to. For a number of years, Hickey Fest in Mendocino, CA would mark the beginning of summer for a lot of our friends. That weekend was filled with music, river swimming, redwoods, and a bit of collective insanity.

It’s in those special moments that I have felt most at peace with myself and with the world, and where even my own mortality seems a part of one big cosmic joke. In the context of COVID, the resulting shelter-in-place, and the current uprising all over the country against police brutality and systemic racism, this song might seem a bit silly. But for me at least, silliness is partly what makes life worth living and gives me hope for a more just and joyful future.” — Joshua Barnhart

Strange Pilgrim on Facebook | Strange Pilgrim on Instagram | Strange Pilgrim on Bandcamp

Photo Credit Katharine Hada
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