Straina is a songsmith for the Internet age. Following a decade of honing his chops with Midlands-based band Man Over Board, he has spent the last year experimenting with sounds in his home studio, resulting in a distinctive style that fuses acoustic, trip-hop and indie influences into a warm and accessible whole.
Within two months of putting his first demos up on Soundcloud, he was signed to Reel Me Records, and the initial fruits of his instinctive approach are available now, in the shape of his debut EP Sobriety Gauge. This foot tapping and head nodding collection of songs highlights the traits that mark him out as an artist. Compelling melodies and thoughtful lyrics abound, all delivered in a soothing yet gritty voice that could only be Straina’s.
This is a musician with ideas to burn, and Sobriety Gauge features a fascinating array of perfectly placed sounds, from the bluesy guitar and swirling string samples of ‘Up and Under’ to the haunting multi-layered vocals of ‘21st Century Fox’. As tuneful as it is experimental, this is an appealing and memorable set of songs, that also serves as a promise of future delights.