The Strange Familiar play a wide range of music on their debut album, but all this jumping around makes it a little difficult to tell just what kind of band they want to be. The first single by the Cuyahoga Falls quartet — which formed from the ashes of the pop group Jaded Era — is called "Being Me," but ironically it's the album's least representative song, with frontwoman Kira Leyden's voice altered by cheap-sounding vocal effects. They're much better on "Unwanted," where Leyden masterfully channels Florence and the Machine's Florence Welch, and on "Where I Belong," which could almost pass for one of John Mayer's introspective tunes, complete with a moody sax break. Despite the misleading "Being Me," the Strange Familiar are at their best when they allow a little personality to break through. — Ben Gifford
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.