STRFKR’s fourth album Being No One, Going Nowhere is named after Ayya Khema’s popular book on meditation. Fittingly the album explores the Eastern philosophical concepts of existentialism and introspection. But this is still a STRFKR album. While it delves into more serious themes, the music is nevertheless fun and groovy in the most cosmic ways possible.
STRFKR founder Joshua Hodges reportedly went to the Joshua Tree desert to find his muse for this album, so it’s not surprising that the songs so easily incorporate philosophy into them. In the first track “Tape Machine,” Hodges can be heard singing “Was this trouble your nature?/Why can’t you shake it?” Paired with pretty synths and a warm hook, this introduces the recurring themes of an individual’s existence, enlightenment, and destruction that are so prevalent throughout the album. Being No One, Going Nowhere isn’t a lesson on these ideas, but rather an invitation to open up to Hodges’ thoughts while still serving a main purpose: to dance.
The album utilizes electronics in an exuberant way that sounds warm and fuzzy rather than robotic. Songs like “Something Ain’t Right” and “In The End” both have an M83-like feel to them while sticking to classic STRFKR indie-pop roots. “Maps” is a synthwave jam and “When I’m With You” has a seductive house sound to it. However, it’s “Open Your Eyes” that differentiates itself with a guitar rhythm. Perhaps the album’s best moment, existentialism appears again with Hodges singing “Squeezing the palm of my hand/In these bodies, we are alone.”
It’s songs like “Open Your Eyes” that leave me longing for more like it from STRFKR. Still Being No One, Going Nowhere is some of the band’s best work and achieves the blissfulness the album strove for.