Rice Is Nice Records presents In Spirit, the much anticipated third LP from NZ/London trio Popstrangers.

In Spirit was written over the summer of 2018-19 in rural New Zealand. Previously, vocalist Joel Flyger had been living and working in London for almost a decade. The UK’s capital, for all its exhilarating and bustling sensibilities, can feel like a bleak, filthy, chaotic backdrop to life for those raised in the antipodes.  

When Flyger returned to his homeland of New Zealand, he spent the summer helping a friend on a remote property in Waingaro, on New Zealand’s West Coast. Inspired by the jarring shift from the constant overstimulation of capital cities to the isolation, beauty and stillness of the country’s coastal towns, Flyger spent his after-work hours crafting the demos for what would become In Spirit

Studio recording was completed between London and Auckland, New Zealand, by Thomas Healy (Tiny Ruins). Where Popstrangers’ previous output had leant heavily on sound manipulation and distortion, In Spirit sees the trio adopt a more relaxed, expansive approach to songwriting. The LP moves between moments of narcotic, undone softness to jarring noise, fluctuating between the two without ever really trying too hard. This is a record that explores ideas of movement, displacement, and relationships between people and environment.

Popstrangers are Joel Flyger (guitar/vocals), Adam Page (bass) and David Larson (drums), three native New Zealanders who now reside in London. 

Popstrangers formed after meeting through mutual friends, with a shared interest in 80’s New Zealand punk bands and most importantly, a desire to create music with like-minded people. After releasing several singles on fabled New Zealand label Flying Nun, Popstrangers delivered their debut album Antipodes in 2013. Recorded in the basement of a 1930’s dancehall, Antipodes features dissonant, claustrophobic melodies, anchored by the languid affectations of Flyger’s vocals. Sophomore effort Fortuna soon followed in 2014, further developing the band’s nuanced, distorted pop and released to much critical acclaim. 

‘In Spirit’ is Popstrangers’ first new release since 2014.

Release: June 10th, 2022, Rice Is Nice